Brad Nielsen Secures Arbitration Victory for MODOT06/08/2023
Kansas City partner Brad Nielsen is on a real roll recently. As previously reported on March 21, he and partner Heather Hatley received a unanimous defense jury verdict in a wrongful death case in Nodaway County, Missouri.
On June 2nd, a United States District judge in Missouri granted summary judgment for Brad’s client in a case of alleged police misconduct. The plaintiff alleged that a county sheriff used his uniform and authority to coerce sex from her and forced her to use drugs that he was taking from the DEA stash normally used to train narcotic dogs and for use in fake drug purchases. The court ruled that everything was consensual and the sheriff did not unconstitutionally deprive her of any rights. Kansas City partner Nick Savio assisted in the briefing of that case.
Now, on June 8th, he received a complete arbitration victory on behalf of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission (MoDOT). If MODOT is the only defendant in the case, plaintiff can choose to arbitrate as a right—pursuant to statute. Three panelists are selected, all local attorneys with vast trial experience. The plaintiff was an 18-year-old high school senior who had just taken the ACT and was going to a friend’s graduation party. He was T-Boned on Highway 291. He was in a coma for 8 days and hospitalized for 37 days. The case involved very serious injuries, with physical, vision, and mental issues still haunting him. We elected to concede the medicals and concentrate on liability. There was a stop sign at the intersection, but three years after the accident MODOT installed traffic signals. Plaintiff claimed the intersection should have had lights at the time, which would have prevented the accident.
The panel agreed that lights would indeed have likely prevented the accident. However, the panel further found that the intersection was not dangerous at the time of the accident. There was plenty of sight distance and travel space for a driver using due care to have avoided going out into the intersection or to have taken precautions to have avoided the accident. Partner Nick Savio was the second chair for that arbitration.