Jesus Hurtado v. Land O' Lakes, Inc.Annotate this Case
This appeal arose from a products liability action brought by Jesus Hurtado and John Reitsma, d/b/a J & J Calf Ranch (J & J), against Land O'Lakes, Inc. (Land O'Lakes). J & J alleged that the Land O'Lakes milk replacer it used to feed its dairy calves was defective and caused the death of more than one hundred calves. A jury found in favor of J & J and awarded damages. Land O'Lakes appealed, arguing that the district court improperly admitted expert testimony and that J & J failed to prove both liability and damages. Land O'Lakes petitioned the Supreme Court to vacate the judgment of the district court and enter judgment in its favor or, alternatively, to vacate the judgment and order a new trial. J & J cross-appealed the district court's award of attorney fees, arguing that the court abused its discretion by excluding fees incurred before and during previous litigation in this matter. J & J petitioned the Supreme Court to vacate the award of attorney fees and remand with instructions to include attorney fees accrued in the first trial in its calculation of reasonable attorney fees. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Land O'Lakes waived issues regarding expert testimony. The Court affirmed the jury verdict because it was supported by substantial competent evidence and affirmed the district court's award of attorney fees because it properly exercised its discretion.