Ruling on damages cap pleases Kansas House speaker O’Neal

? Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal says he’s pleased by a state Supreme Court ruling that upholds a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in personal injury lawsuits.

The Hutchinson Republican said Friday that many legislators and others have seen the policy of limiting such damages as long-settled.

The law imposing the cap was enacted in 1988. O’Neal is an attorney who helped draft the law.

O’Neal is not seeking re-election this year and has been hired as president and CEO of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. The chamber had urged the court to uphold the cap.

O’Neal said lawmakers enacted the cap because doctors were seeing the costs of medical malpractice insurance increasing and some of them were giving up their Kansas practices.

Minority House leader Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, criticized the ruling Friday.