Legal groups fight changes in Kansas evidence rules

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The Kansas Bar Association and a trial lawyers’ group say proposed changes in evidence rules are a bad trade-off for higher limits on some damages in personal injury lawsuits.

The House commerce committee had a hearing Monday on a Senate-approved bill that includes both concepts. Medical groups and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce support the legislation.

The bill is a response to a 2012 Kansas Supreme Court decision upholding the state’s $250,000 limit on noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering in personal injury lawsuits. The court said the cap might not remain constitutional because of inflation.

The legislation would raise the cap to $350,000 by 2022. But the legal groups said the changes in evidence rules would hurt plaintiffs in personal injury cases.

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