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SB 311 - Increases the Limit for Non-Economic Civil Damages - Kansas Key Vote

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Title: Increases the Limit for Non-Economic Civil Damages

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Title: Increases the Limit for Non-Economic Civil Damages

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that increases the limit on non-economic damages awarded in personal injury and medical malpractice cases.

Highlights:

  • Increases the limit on the maximum amount that may be awarded in a personal injury case for “non-economic loss” from $250,000 to the following amounts (Sec. 1):
    • $250,000 for cases on or after July 1, 1988, and before July 1, 2014;
    • $300,000 for cases on or after July 1, 2014, and before July 1, 2018;
    • $325,000 for cases on or after July 1, 2018, and before July 1, 2022; and
    • $350,000 for cases on or after July 1, 2022.
  • Repeals the prohibition on admitting to evidence a personal injury claimant’s current or expected “collateral source benefits” (Sec. 6).
  • Defines “collateral source benefits” as certain benefits paid to a claimant or to someone on the claimant’s behalf for expenses from the occurrence upon which the personal injury claim is based, except for life insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, or “gratuitously bestowed” benefits (Sec. 5).
  • Authorizes an expert witness’s testimony to include an opinion or inference if it will help the trial authority to understand the evidence or case facts and if it meets the following criteria (Sec. 2):
    • The opinion or inference is based on sufficient facts or data;
    • The opinion or inference is the product of reliable principles and methods; and
    • The witness has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.
  • Authorizes an expert witness’s testimony to include an opinion or inference without admitting the source data as evidence if the source data is a type “reasonably relied on” by experts in a particular field (Sec. 4).
  • Authorizes the court to hold a pretrial hearing to determine whether a witness qualifies as an expert and whether the witness's testimony is based on sufficient facts and data and applies reliable products or methods (Sec. 3). 

Title: Increases the Limit for Non-Economic Civil Damages

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