Court: North Dakota Supreme Court
Citation: 2021 ND 74
Opinion Date: April 20, 2021
Judge: Gerald W. VandeWalle
Areas of Law: Civil Procedure, Personal Injury
Melissa Oster and N.B. appealed two orders denying motions for a new trial after a jury awarded a verdict in N.B.’s favor. Oster and her daughter, N.B., were staying at a residence owned by Kevin Terwilliger. Josh and Samantha Terwilliger were formerly married and lived at the residence. Samantha Terwilliger (nka Seewalker), was Oster’s cousin. In 2015, N.B. was playing with another child outside the Terwilliger residence while Oster and Seewalker were in the house. Josh and Kevin Terwilliger were not present. A horse on the Terwilliger property kicked N.B. in the head, seriously injuring her. The parties disputed the nature and extent of N.B.’s injuries. At trial, both sides provided testimony of expert medical witnesses to establish the extent of N.B’s injuries. A jury returned a verdict in favor of N.B. The jury did not award Oster damages and found her 45% at fault for N.B.’s accident. The jury attributed 0% fault to Kevin Terwilliger. Of the remaining fault, 30% was attributed to Josh Terwilliger and 25% to Seewalker. After the trial, two motions for a new trial were filed on behalf of N.B., not Oster. The district court denied the motions. N.B. and Oster appealed. Finding no reversible error, the North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s orders denying the motions for a new trial.
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