Attorneys Troy Poetz and Steven Bader win Jury Trial in Bodily Injury Case

On May 31, 2016, attorneys Troy Poetz and Steven Bader won a defense verdict in a jury trial in Pine County. The Plaintiff broke both of his legs when he fell from a step leading to a deer stand built into a tree. The accident occurred on the Defendant's property. The Plaintiff incurred more than $148,000 in medical bills as a result of his injuries. The jury found the Defendant was not liable, and it found the Plaintiff's negligence was the direct cause of the accident.

Prior to trial, the Court awarded the defense partial summary judgment and held the Minnesota Recreational Use Statute applied. Under the statute, the Defendant had no duty to warn, repair, or inspect his land prior to allowing the Plaintiff hunt. Instead, the Defendant had a limited duty to warn the Plaintiff of dangers on the property of which the Defendant had actual knowledge, and that were hidden from the Plaintiff.

The evidence at trial showed the step to the deer stand did not present a danger; the Defendant had no knowledge of any danger it may have presented; and any danger the step presented was not hidden from the Plaintiff. Additionally, Troy and Steve presented evidence that at the time of the accident, the Plaintiff was on medical restrictions that prohibited him from lifting above the shoulders. The accident occurred while Plaintiff tried to pull himself up with his arms above his shoulders.

Ultimately, the jury found the Defendant was not liable, it found the Plaintiff's negligence caused the accident, and although it awarded Plaintiff his stipulated past medical specials of $148,000, it awarded $0 in past and future pain and suffering.

Ouradnik v. Ouradnik, 58-CV-15-279, Minnesota District Court, Pine County