Jury Verdict Summaries from the National Association of State Jury Verdict Publishers

The Greater Kansas City Jury Verdict Service is currently in its thirty-fourth year. The service reports civil jury verdicts in the metropolitan Kansas City area. Computer searches are available on request from a database of all cases reported since September 1981, for the Jackson County Circuit Court (Kansas City), Jackson County Circuit Court (Independence), Clay County Circuit Court, and Platte County Circuit Court in Missouri, the Wyandotte County District Court and Johnson County District Court in Kansas, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri (Kansas City), and the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas (Kansas City). The five counties represent a varied demographic mix. The City of Kansas City (Missouri) is located in primarily urban Jackson County, with a county population of 633,232, a population density of 404.4 persons per square kilometer, and a median household income of $27,853. Clay and Platte Counties tend to be more suburban and rural. Clay County has a population of 153,411, a density of 149.4 persons per square kilometer, and a median household income of $34,370. Platte County has a population of 57,867, a density of 53.1 persons per square kilometer, and a median household income of $38,173.

Wyandotte County (Kansas) is primarily urban, and contains the City of Kansas City (Kansas). The county population is 161,993, the density is 413.2 persons per square kilometer, and the median household income is $23,780. Johnson County is suburban, with a rapidly growing industrial and business component. The county population is 355,054, the density is 287.5 persons per square kilometer, and the median household income is $42,741. Jury verdict search information is available for the entire metropolitan area, and on an individual county-by-county basis.

Application of the comparative fault doctrine differs between Kansas and Missouri. The Kansas comparative fault law provides for no recovery to any plaintiff found to be at fault by a factor of 50% or greater. Missouri courts, on the other hand, allow recovery to plaintiffs when juries find the defendant liable for any percentage of fault. Actual awards reported vary accordingly. Average verdicts, as reported below, are calculated based on only those cases in which there was a recovery to the plaintiff.

In 1993, the Greater Kansas City Jury Verdict Service reported twenty-seven medical malpractice cases and an additional five cases of alleged wrongful death resulting from medical malpractice. Ten of the 27 medical malpractice cases had plaintiff's verdicts at an average of $321,837, and three of the five wrongful death medical malpractice cases involved recovery to plaintiffs averaging $430,712. In 1994, the twenty-seven medical malpractice cases reported resulted in eight plaintiff's verdicts averaging $115,344, and five wrongful death resulting from medical malpractice cases brought one plaintiff's verdict of $200,000. In 1995, twenty-two medical malpractice cases were reported with three plaintiff's verdicts averaging $149,050, and seven cases alleging wrongful death from medical malpractice resulted in two plaintiff's verdicts with an average award of $127,409. Statistics for the year 1996 will be available after the first week of January 1997.

Please direct all inquiries concerning the above analysis to the Greater Kansas City Verdict Service, 4418 W. 72nd Terrace, Prairie Village KS 66208. Telephone (913) 722-4868, Fax (913) 831-6519, or e-mail to Stephen Smith at fsmith@sound.net.

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