Here at HPS, we usually represent claimants, but on occasion we defend cases. Recently, our team successfully defended clients that were sued by plaintiffs in federal court. In the Fall of 2022, Vince Purtell and Steve Siegel, with the help from team members Sam Matson and Nicole Hallem, successfully defended our client against a $21 million wrongful death claim in the Northern Division of the United States District Court of South Dakota. The jury trial resulted from a collision involving a motorcycle and a pick-up truck. Vince and Steve argued that the motorcyclist was contributorily negligent in causing the accident. The Plaintiff was represented by a national law firm that has received large jury verdicts for their clients.
Vince and Steve presented their argument to a group of eight jurors. When the two sides finished closing arguments, the jury deliberated for about an hour and a half, returning a verdict of $0.00, relieving our client of any duty to pay the plaintiff.
Steve and Vince believe this result was due to the team’s effort in the case. We recently hired Nicole Hallem and Sam Matson who addressed any of the partners’ needs while they focused on trial preparation. The recent acquisition of these two assisted in delivering the best outcome for our client.