Franke, Schultz & Mullen, PC | FSM Partner Brad Nielsen Receives Rare Directed Verdict
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FSM Partner Brad Nielsen Receives Rare Directed Verdict

FSM partner Brad Nielsen received a rare directed verdict at the close of plaintiffs’ evidence recently in a jury trial in Stevens County, Kansas (Hugoton, Kansas). Nielsen represented General Pest Control, Inc. against claims that is poisoned 4 workers in the Moscow, Kansas city hall. Two of the claims were severed, and the two claimants who proceeded to the jury trial claim numerous respiratory, skin, and polyneuropathy issues to all extremities. Plaintiffs’ evidence consisted of their own testimony, the testimony of the two claimants who had been severed from the trial as fact witnesses only, an expert toxicologist from the University of Texas at El Paso, and a practicing neurologist from Wichita, Kansas.

At the close of plaintiffs’ evidence, Brad filed a Motion for Directed Verdict. The motion, among other things, was based on plaintiffs’ failure to prove causation, a necessary element in their negligence action. Damages were a given, and so too was negligence—for the most part. However, the plaintiffs wholly failed to prove causation. Indeed, Nielsen got the neurologist to admit that any of her causal connection testimony was “speculation at best.”

It remains unclear if the other two claimants will continue with their cause of action against General Pest. The plaintiffs had each been claiming $300,000 at mediation, for a total global claim (with all four claimants) of $1.2 million.