Settlement: Confidential settlement of a young widow whose husband was electrocuted on a construction site.

This wrongful death case is a tragic but clear example of how state lines can affect a wrongful death case. Situated near the Missouri-Kansas border, The Pottenger Law Firm regularly services clients from both states. Sometimes there isn’t a choice whether to file a lawsuit in Missouri or Kansas, but when that choice does exist, it can make a very big difference in the outcome. Once the lawsuit is filed,  the second key component is determining which state’s law will apply.

A construction crew was framing a house in a new housing development in Overland Park, Kansas when this tragedy occurred. The crew including supervisors had been preparing to set an I-beam in the house using a front loader. They had only tied one rope to the beam, instead of two, and it began to swing and gain momentum. When our client’s husband tried to direct it, the beam hit an overhead power line and he died instantly.

Tragically, the decedent left behind a new bride and an infant child. Scared and confused, the wife of the deceased contacted our firm to review the case.

At the time, there was a $250,000 cap for non economic damages in Kansas. In Missouri, non economic damages are uncapped.  Because the defendant was a Missouri corporation, the lawsuit was filed in Missouri. We took the position that since our clients were Missouri residents that Missouri law would apply to this wrongful death claim. Therefore, there would be no caps on the non economic damages.

This position regarding choice of law raised signicantly raised the potential exposure for the defendant and created leverage for a confidential settlement.

The confidential settlement obtained by our client was significantly more than the young family would have received by applying Kansas law. No amount of money can compensate for the loss of a loved one, but the difference provided significantly more financial stability for the deceased’s family.


At The Pottenger Law Firm LLC, our Kansas City personal injury lawyers are dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims. We understand the unique challenges faced by individuals who have suffered a serious injury because of someone else’s negligence. We know the costs—financial, physical, and emotional—that victims and their families are left facing. We evaluate the unique circumstances of each case and position our clients to be able to pursue the maximum damages for their injuries.

You and your family should not be held responsible for the considerable expenses associated with medical care, lost wages, and more. Our compassionate and experienced Kansas City personal injury attorneys may be able to help you get the financial compensation you deserve. To discuss your case with us in more detail, contact us today for a free consultation by calling 816-531-6006.