Hiring opportunities! Fisher Bren & Sheridan, LLP is looking for a full-time paralegal and legal assistant to join our Minneapolis-based litigation firm, as well as a full-time associate attorney to join our Fargo, North Dakota office. We assist our clients in the fields of construction law, insurance coverage and litigation, general liability and civil litigation, catastrophic loss, environmental and pollution law, commercial & business litigation, real estate, professional litigation, and data center litigation. We are a small firm that values a team approach and we are proud to offer a friendly and fun work environment, competitive benefits and compensation. We look forward to hearing from you!
Summary Judgment Win!
Gerald Bren, Jennifer Olson, and Dan Berlinger secured a summary judgment win in Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District, on behalf of a retail store. The case involved plaintiff’s claim that she sustained personal injury after allegedly slipping (she did not fall) on a slippery, slimy substance on the floor. Judge Strand found summary judgment appropriate, because there was no evidence that the retail store had actual or constructive notice of the substance. The Court examined surveillance footage surrounding the incident, which depicted others walking through the same area without incident. She noted that the retail store’s employees cleaned up the alleged substance within one minute of plaintiff slipping. She further found there was no evidence in the record of the source of the slippery substance on the floor, how long the substance had been on the floor, and no evidence that that the retailer knew or should have known of the presence of the slippery substance.
Summary Judgment Win!
Steve Sheridan, Jennifer Olson, and Olivia Moe of Fisher Bren & Sheridan, LLP won summary judgment for a general contractor in a personal injury lawsuit arising out of the plaintiff’s allegations that he contracted a severe gastrointestinal illness caused by exposure to infectious bacteria from poultry while he was working on a construction project at a poultry processing plant. The plaintiff—an employee of an electrical contractor hired directly by the plant owner—contended that the general contractor breached duties to warn or protect all workers at the site from risks of harm. Ms. Moe persuaded the Court that the general construction contractor owed no duty to warn or protect an employee of a co-contractor from the risks of biological hazards from exposure to poultry where the general contractor did not create the hazard, did not control the co-contractor’s work, did not own or possess the premises, and had no superior knowledge of the risk of poultry-related illnesses.
Appeal In Wrongful Death Case.
On December 19th at 1:30 p.m. Corey Quinton and Tyler Carlson argued an appeal involving the Sadek v. Weber, et al case to the North Dakota Supreme Court. The Sadek case involved the disappearance and death of a college student who was found in the Red River with a bullet wound to his head. Prior to his disappearance he had, unbeknownst to anyone, been working as a confidential informant for a regional drug task force. Plaintiff’s theory is that Andrew’s death was a direct and proximate result of his work as a confidential informant. The trial court had granted our client’s Motion for Summary Judgment dismissing the case in its entirety on the grounds that no facts existed as to proximate causation. An appeal was taken as to the dismissal. The five justices of North Dakota’s highest court listened to the plaintiffs argue that the trial court had been in error and that there were fact questions which precluded summary judgment. Corey argued, as he had to the trial court, that the undisputed facts demonstrated that there was no evidence, admissible or otherwise, to suggest a link between Andrew Sadek’s disappearance and death and his work with our client as a confidential informant. The appeal generated national media attention and the case will likely be decided within the next two to three months.
FBS Attorneys Corey Quinton & Tyler Carlson Succeed on Summary Judgment Defending Richland County and Deputy Weber in a Wrongful Death Case.
On May 1, 2014, college student Andrew Sadek was seen leaving his dorm in the early morning hours. On June 27, 2014, his body was found in the Red River with a bullet wound to the head. Prior to his disappearance, Mr. Sadek had been acting as a confidential informant for a drug task force after selling marijuana to other confidential informants on two occasions. His contact with the drug task force was Richland County Deputy Weber. His parents brought suit against Deputy Weber and Richland County alleging fraud, deceit and negligence based on the assumption that Mr. Sadek had been murdered due to his acting as a confidential informant. His story and alleged murder garnered national media attention including a segment on 60 Minutes. Corey Quinton and Tyler Carlson of our office defended the case and after nearly three years of litigation brought a Motion for Summary Judgment. The court ruled on May 20, 2019, agreeing with and adopting almost all of our arguments and dismissing all three causes of action alleged by the Plaintiff’s. In particular, the court found that the fraud claim were inapplicable because the contract remedies available for fraud did not apply to this case. The deceit claims were dismissed as the only misrepresentation alleged by the plaintiff’s (that Deputy Weber had told Sadek that there was a good possibility he would get jail time) was a prediction as to future events which is not actionable under North Dakota law. As to the negligence claim, the court found that the record did not support a finding of proximate causation as a matter of law. The case may be appealed to the North Dakota Supreme Court.