Fleeson Gooing attorneys Lyndon Vix and Bill Townsley were a part of history on January 27, 2011, when the Kansas Supreme Court returned to its former courtroom in the state capital for a special docket commemorating the Kansas sesquicentennial.
Since 1978, when the Kansas appellate courts moved to the newly constructed Kansas Judicial Center across the street from the capital building, the Supreme Court has only heard cases in that facility. The courtroom on the third floor of the capital, which is now used for legislative committee hearings, was recently restored to appear as it had in 1903.
To mark the 150th anniversary of Kansas statehood, the Supreme Court moved back to the capital for a special afternoon docket. Among the four cases selected for the session was Scott v. Hughes, an automobile fatality case from Barton County in which Fleeson Gooing represented the defendant/appellant. The case, which involves the interplay between workers compensation and civil tort remedies, was defended in the district court by Bill Townsley. Lyndon Vix authored the appellate briefs and argued the case to the Supreme Court.
This was actually the second time that Scott v. Hughes had been before the Supreme Court. In 2006, the firm obtained reversal of an adverse district court ruling that had limited the defenses that could be asserted on behalf of the defendant driver. The case was remanded to the district court for consideration of additional issues and was ultimately tried to a jury, which returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in the amount of $500,000.
A decision from the Supreme Court is not expected before summer.
Read the Kansas Supreme Court’s press release concerning the historic docket here.
Press coverage of the session is available here (Topeka Capital-Journal) and here (KTKA TV).