The Kansas Court of Appeals has affirmed that the City of Manhattan pay close to $30,000 in attorney fees to a local couple following their successful lawsuit over a damaged mailbox.
The decision was published April 7 and can be in the document below. The case stems from a December 2019 incident involving a city-owned snowplow that struck a stone mailbox, cracking its base. Marti Wickham and William Franz successfully sued the city and in November 2021 were awarded approximately $3,200 for the mailbox and roughly $10,000 for attorney fees.
The city agreed to pay for the mailbox but were unsuccessful in appealing the attorney fees, resulting in the Court of Appeals also awarding about $18,000 of additional attorney fees from the appeal, to the plaintiffs. All told, the case has cost the City of Manhattan close to $32,000 in damages and legal fees, not counting what it paid to its legal counsel, Lenexa-based Hinkle Law Firm, LLC.
KMAN has filed an open records request with the City of Manhattan seeking those additional expenditures.