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Copyright (c) 2002 Kansas Law Review, Inc.
Kansas Law Review

ARTICLE: Survey of Kansas Tort Law: Part II

January, 2002

50 Kan. L. Rev. 225


William E. Westerbeke*


I. Introduction

This survey of Kansas tort law covers more than a twelve-year period in which the Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Court of Appeals produced more than four hundred decisions addressing various tort law issues. In Part I of this survey Dean McAllister and I discussed developments in Kansas negligence law. 1 In Part II of this survey I will discuss developments in other tort actions, including the traditional intentional torts, products liability, wrongful death and survival, defamation and invasion of privacy, misrepresentation, malicious prosecution, tortious interference with economic and family relations, and retaliatory discharge.

II. Intentional Torts

A. Intent

In 1927 Kansas adopted the unanimous American rule that insanity does not prevent the existence of an intent for purposes of civil liability. 2 In Williams v. Kearbey 3 an insane defendant shot five people, killing one of them. The court of appeals declined to change the rule governing insanity. 4 The court reasoned that (1) the rule is still unanimous that insane persons are held liable for their intentional torts, 5 (2) as a matter of public policy the loss should fall on the person who causes it rather than on the injured party or the general public, 6 and (3) insanity does not prevent the existence of intent if the jury could conclude that the defendant hit the plaintiff with the intent of causing a harmful or offensive bodily contact. 7

The overwhelming judicial approval of the insanity rule in intentional torts is ...
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