Wallace Saunders attorneys Tom Hayes, Chris Confer, and Stephanie Blaylock recently attended the 27th Annual Railroad Liability Conference, which is put on by America’s leading short line railroads. This year’s conference was held in St. Louis, Missouri and was long awaited, as it was the first time the conference has taken place since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of their significant experience in railroad litigation, the above Wallace Saunders attorneys were asked to present at the conference with Asim S. Raza (Chief Legal Officer, Director of Corporate Affairs – Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis), Onna Houck (General Counsel – Iowa Interstate Railroad), and Kristin Bevil (General Counsel – Pioneer Lines) on the topic: “On Site Counsel – Lessons Learned.”
The Kansas Court of Appeals issued a published decision on March 18, 2022, in favor of our client, in Turner v. Pleasant Acres, No. 123,552, distinguishing federal case law that had been in place since 1981. The Court of Appeals held that, despite the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit’s opinion in Knight v. Insurance Company of North America, 647 F.2d 127 (10th Cir. 1981), the Kansas Workers Compensation Act, specifically K.S.A. §44-504(b), does not distinguish between the types of recovery to which a workers compensation lien attaches. Our client was thus granted a subrogation lien where one would have previously been denied, involving uninsured motorist benefits. This clears the way for Respondents to successfully assert statutory liens against settlements and judgments where a plaintiff/claimant attempts to recover duplicate damages through an uninsured motorist action and a workers compensation claim.
Congratulations to Tim Emerson in our Wichita office for his success on behalf of the client.