A 12-year-old Jonesboro girl named Kiera went to play with friends in a rice field one day after school. A construction company working on a city sewage drain line left several large pipes along a trench where they were working for several weeks. Kiera and her friends began rolling the pipes, climbing onto the pipes and climbing in them.
Kiera became trapped face down in a muddy field under one of the 1,400 pound pipes. The other children were unable to move the pipe off her. By the time one of the children got help and the pipe was moved off of her, she was near death. Kiera was airlifted to a Memphis hospital where she died.
At least four different entities were at fault, and an undisclosed settlement was reached with Kiera’s family. With Issue 1 in place most lawyers would not take a case like this, because of the cap on attorney fees and the cap on non-economic damages. In that case Kiera’s family would have to take whatever the corporations and businesses responsible would offer.
Since Kiera had no job or “economic value” the only damages her family could collect for her death would be noneconomic damages. Issue 1 caps noneconomic damages.
With Issue 1 in place, there’s a $500,000 price tag on Kiera’s life even if a judge and jury believe the amount should be higher.