Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. v. Conagra Foods, Inc. ***

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Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. v. Conagra Foods, Inc. ***

Case Number
S-16-0896
Call Date
November 2, 2017
Case Time
9:00 AM
Court Number
Douglas
Case Location
Lincoln
Case Summary

S-16-0896 Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., (Appellant)

Douglas County, Judge Gary Randall

Attorneys: William F. Hargens, Lauren R. Goodman (McGrath North Mullin & Kratz PCLLO) and Christopher Landau and Jeremy M. Feigenbaum (Kirkland & Ellis LLP) (both admitted Pro Hac Vice) (for Appellant) --- Shawn D. Renner, Andre R. Barry (Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather LLP) and Stephen B. Kinnaird, Sarah G. Besnoff (Paul Hastings LLP) (both admitted Pro Hac Vice) --- Robert Abrams, Gilbert S. Keteltas, Thomas E. Hogan (Baker Hostetler LLP) (all admitted Pro Hac Vice)

Civil: Indemnification

Proceedings below: A jury returned a special verdict finding ConAgra liable and finding Jacobs Engineering not negligent. The district court entered a verdict in the amount of $108,913,520.89. Appellant ConAgra Foods, Inc. filed a Petition to Bypass the Court of Appeals which was granted by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Issues: I. The district court erred by failing to enter judgment in ConAgra’s favor, or at least to grant a new trial and order Jacobs to comply with ConAgra’s discovery requests, because

Jacobs failed to prove that it was the real party in interest with standing to seek indemnification and suffered any losses warranting indemnification.

II. The district court erred by failing to reduce the judgment by, or order a remittitur in, the damages relating to settlements with ConAgra’s employees (or their personal representatives) because ConAgra did not waive its workers’ compensation immunity.

III. The district court erred by failing to enter judgment in ConAgra’s favor, or at least to grant a new trial, because Jacobs did not establish that its “losses” were “caused by the negligence of ConAgra and/or others under its control,” as required by the contract.

A. As a threshold matter, the district court erred by instructing the jury that the “losses” in this action are the injuries and damages from the underlying explosion, as opposed to Jacobs’ settlement payments, and thus ConAgra is entitled at the very least to a new trial before a properly instructed jury.

B. Regardless, undisputed evidence establishes that the losses from the underlying explosion were not “caused by the negligence of ConAgra and/or others under its control,” and thus ConAgra is entitled to judgment on Jacobs’ indemnification claim.

IV. The district court erred by failing to alter or amend the judgment to reduce it by, or order a remittitur in, damages relating to the Brockington settlement, because the indemnification Jacobs sought is wholly arbitrary and does not reflect losses “caused by” ConAgra.

Schedule Code
SC