Kansas Court of Appeals Upholds 2018 Dismissal of Wrongful Death Claim Against KVC05/13/2022
In May 2022, the Kansas Court of Appeals upheld a 2018 ruling dismissing wrongful death and survival claims against KVC with prejudice. The case arose out of the tragic 2015 death of an infant at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend. KVC is a contractor for the Kansas Department of Children and Families. The Petition, filed in Bourbon County, Kansas, alleged that KVC was negligent in providing family services to the mother of the deceased child and was therefore liable for the child’s wrongful death. Franke Schultz and Mullen moved to dismiss the claims on statute of limitations grounds. In response, plaintiff, the child’s father, argued that he was not aware of KVC’s involvement in the case until after the statute of limitations had run and therefore, his claims against KVC should relate back to the original filing date under Kansas Statute, Section 60-213. Alternatively, he argued that his claims sounded in contract, not tort, and were therefore not barred by the statute of limitations. After lengthy oral arguments, the District Court granted the Motion to Dismiss in November 2018 finding that the claims sounded in tort, not contract, and were therefore barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Plaintiff appealed the ruling and the case was argued to the Court of Appeals in June 2021. In May 2022, the Appellate Court issued a ruling affirming the District Court’s dismissal with prejudice of KVC. The case was defensed by partners Heather Hatley and Derek Johannsen.