Justia Arbitration & Mediation Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Kansas Supreme Court
The Supreme Court answered two certified questions regarding the interplay between an arbitrated award against one set of tortfeasors and a litigated proceeding against another set of tortfeasors in this case concerning Kansas's one-action rule.Timothy Hunt, a farm employee, was killed when operating a grain vacuum to remove corn from a grain trailer. Plaintiff, Hunt's daughter, filed suit in Kansas federal district court against the manufacturer of the grain vacuum system. In the meantime, Hunt's children, including Plaintiff, entered into an arbitration agreement with the farm. An arbitrator entered an award in favor of the claimants. The circuit court entered final judgment confirming the arbitration award. The defendants in the federal court action subsequently moved for summary judgment, arguing that the suit was barred by the one-action rule. The federal court then certified questions to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court answered (1) an arbitration action does not qualify as a judicial determination of comparative fault where no other potential tortfeasors were involved in the arbitration; and (2) the confirmation of an arbitration award by a state court judgment does not qualify as a judicial determination of comparative fault so as to invite application of the Kansas one-action rule. View "Hodges v. Walinga USA Inc." on Justia Law