Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Law Benefits Defendants ; Topeka Lawyer: Kansas a Good Place to Defend Torts

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Law Benefits Defendants ; Topeka Lawyer: Kansas a Good Place to Defend Torts

Article excerpt

If you have the misfortune to get sued, there are far worse places for it to happen than Kansas and particularly, Shawnee County, a speaker told local small business people Tuesday.

Will Larson, a Topeka lawyer who has worked in cases related to insurance, spoke to the Topeka Independent Business Association at its monthly meeting about legal issues small businesses may face.

Kansas "is probably one of the best places to defend claims where people are injured in the United States," he said. "A case that would be worth $100,000 in Kansas could be worth $500,000 in Missouri."

Shawnee County also is a good place to have a case in Kansas, Larson said. Sedgwick and Wyandotte counties are more difficult, because juries there tend to be more liberal in their awards, he said.

Kansas law includes comparative fault in accidents, so if someone who is injured is found to have contributed to the accident, the other party is responsible only for the percentage of the costs that the court determines is his or her fault, Larson said. If the plaintiff is found to be more than 50 percent at fault, he or she can't recover any money from the defendant, he said.

If there are multiple defendants, each is responsible for only his or her portion of the judgment, so the plaintiff can't recover extra from a deeper-pocketed defendant if one of the other defendants can't pay his share, Larson said.

Kansas also has caps on noneconomic damages, more commonly known as pain and suffering, Larson said. …

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