Home » Border Wars » Border Showdown: Why Kansas Should Reform Its Punitive Damages Statute to Even the Playing Field with Missouri by Sarah Lintecum

Border Showdown: Why Kansas Should Reform Its Punitive Damages Statute to Even the Playing Field with Missouri by Sarah Lintecum

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Imagine this scenario.1 A young girl is driving home from work late at night. She stops in traffic at a stoplight. While waiting, she notices a black truck rapidly approaching her from behind. Anticipating a collision, she tries to get out of the way, but it is too late. The truck slams into the back of her car, forcing her car into the rear of the vehicle in front of her. She sustains severe injuries and is transported to the hospital. When a police officer asks the driver of the truck for his license and registration, he smells alcohol and marijuana smoke emanating from the truck. A search of the truck reveals a marijuana pipe, nineteen bags of marijuana, empty cans of alcoholic beverages, prescription bottles under the driver’s name, and a digital scale with residue on it. The driver admits to using both marijuana and cocaine just hours before the accident. Now, assume the girl lives in Kansas but the accident occurred in Missouri where the truck driver resides. The girl has a decision to make – should she file her case in Missouri or Kansas? As the law stands now, the choice is relatively easy. All else being equal, if she believes she can recover punitive damages for the truck driver’s wanton and reckless behavior, she should file in Missouri where the law is friendlier to recovery of punitive damages. … Read the full text …


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