In October of 2012, the Kansas Supreme Court[1] upheld the constitutionality of the noneconomic damages cap of $250,000[2] contained in K.S.A. § 60-19a02 in the context of a medical malpractice case. The full BSCR blog post on this decision may be found here.

On March 11, 2016, the Court of Appeals[3] followed the quid pro quo test previously applied by the Kansas Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of K.S.A. § 60-19a02. The first step of the quid pro quo test asks "whether the modification to the common-law remedy or the right to jury trial is reasonably necessary in the public interest to promote the public welfare." The Court held this part of the test satisfied, because “the damages cap operates in a broader scheme of mandatory insurance, and the State maintains an interest in that insurance remaining available and affordable to compensate accident victims.”

In the second step of the quid pro quo analysis, the court must "determine whether the legislature substituted an adequate statutory remedy for the modification to the individual right." The Court held this part of the test satisfied, because mandatory vehicle insurance constitutes adequate quid pro quo for purposes of the damages cap. Thus, the court upheld the damages cap as constitutional in the case of a collision between motor carriers and motor vehicles.

The court, in dicta, left open the possibility that the damages cap may not be constitutional in all instances: “Obviously, the recovery schemes discussed above are not available to all tort victims.”

The full opinion may be found here.