ROGER C. ROSS, Respondent,
JESCHKE AG SERVICE, LLC, Appellant.
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF JACKSON COUNTY The Honorable Kevin
D. Harrell, Judge
Division One: Lisa White Hardwick, Presiding Judge, Cynthia
L. Martin and Anthony Rex Gabbert, Judges.
WHITE HARDWICK, JUDGE
Ag Service, LLC, ("Jeschke") appeals the circuit
court's judgment awarding Roger Ross $2, 535, 000 in
economic damages, $250, 000 in non-economic damages, and
$750, 000 in punitive damages for his negligence claim.
Jeschke contends the court erred in denying its motion to
dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, submitting the
punitive damages instruction, and denying its motion for new
trial because the jury improperly rendered a quotient
verdict. For reasons explained herein, we affirm.
Factual and Procedural History
morning of March 19, 2014, Donald Shaw, acting in the course
and scope of his employment with Jeschke, drove a
tractor-trailer rig to St. Joseph to pick up a load of
fertilizer. Once the fertilizer was loaded onto Shaw's
trailer, the tractor-trailer weighed 81, 200 pounds.
Shaw picked up the fertilizer, he proceeded to drive back to
Jeschke's facility in Troy, Kansas. As he drove north on
Highway K-7 in Kansas, he rolled up behind Ross, who was also
heading north on Highway K-7. Ross was driving his farm
tractor with his flashers activated.
stretch of roadway on which Ross and Shaw were traveling was
in a marked no-passing zone. Shaw was familiar with the area
because he had driven it several times in the past. He saw
the "No Passing" sign as well as the solid yellow
line on his side of the road. He also understood that it was
dangerous to pass someone in a no-passing zone. Nevertheless,
Shaw pulled into the southbound lane of Highway K-7 on
Ross's left side just as Ross was attempting to turn left
onto an intersecting street.
struck Ross as Ross was turning. The force of the impact
caused Ross to be ejected from the tractor. The tractor
eventually came to rest in a yard, while Shaw's
tractor-trailer entered a ditch and came to rest in a field.
was transported from the scene to the hospital. He suffered
serious injuries, including brain damage. Ross does not
recall anything about the accident. Shaw was not injured.
and his wife filed a petition for actual and punitive damages
against Jeschke and Shaw in the Circuit Court of Jackson
County, Missouri. While the case was pending, the court
determined that Kansas substantive law should be applied.
Ross subsequently filed an amended petition excluding his
the jury trial began, Ross dismissed his claims against Shaw
without prejudice. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury
assessed 65% of the fault for the accident to Jeschke and 35%
to Ross. The jury determined that Ross's past and future
economic damages were $3.9 million and his past and future
non-economic damages were $2.4 million. The jury also found
that Jeschke was liable for punitive damages. The court
indicated that it would schedule a hearing at a later date to
determine the amount of punitive damages.
couple of months later, the court heard additional evidence
regarding punitive damages and then entered final judgment.
After reducing the jury's award by Ross's percentage
of fault and applying Kansas's non-economic damages cap,
the court awarded Ross $2, 535, 000 in economic damages and
$250, 000 in ...