Gordon Hansmeier and Chris Wills Win Summary Judgment in North Dakota State Court (Grand Forks County)

Gordon Hansmeier and Chris Wills won summary judgment motion that they filed in North Dakota state court on behalf of Kenton Anderson. The case involves a home that Mr. Anderson owns in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Mr. Anderson lived at the home with his girlfriend, Julie Thorsen, and Ms. Thorsen's three children. In 2009, Mr. Anderson moved out of the home.

On June 10-11, 2012, Ms. Thorsen's son, Nick Thorsen, had a gathering at the home that was attended by several people, including Christian Bjerk. During the gathering, those present (with the exception of Ms. Thorsen, who was sleeping upstairs) consumed LSD; Mr. Bjerk and a few others also consumed a white powder that was described as ketamine. Shortly after he ingested the LSD and white powder, Mr. Bjerk left the home. He was found the next morning in a nearby park, having passed away from the drugs that he consumed.

The Bjerks brought a lawsuit against Mr. Anderson, alleging that Mr. Anderson was responsible for their son's death. Hansmeier and Wills filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Mr. Anderson was not legally liable for Mr. Bjerk's death because Mr. Anderson was not present when the drug consumption occurred and did not know that the gathering was going to happen. The district court agreed, granted the motion, and dismissed the Bjerks' claims. The Bjerks have appealed, and the case is currently pending before the North Dakota Supreme Court.

Bjerk v. Anderson, No. 18-2015-CV-00247 (Grand Forks County District Court)