Secured $9.6 Million Verdict in Civil Action Following Wrongful Death

Robins Kaplan attorneys represented the family of Dr. Philip Gattuso of Fargo, North Dakota, who was killed in October 2009. The family sought damages in a civil action following the July 2011 conviction and life sentencing of defendant Gene Kirkpatrick of Jones, Oklahoma for conspiracy to murder. Kirkpatrick had arranged for his son-in-law, Dr. Gattuso, to be killed following the death of his daughter Valerie, Dr. Gattuso’s wife, to attempt custody of their young daughter.

The District Court, East Central Judicial District in North Dakota, issued an opinion on July 8 in a civil action for damages for wrongful death, ordering judgments of $4,406,139.50 as compensation for economic damages, $5 million as compensation for non-economic damages and the maximum $250,000 for exemplary damages.

Past results are reported to provide the reader with an indication of the type of litigation we practice. They do not and should not be construed to create an expectation of result in any other case, as all cases are dependent upon their own unique fact situation and applicable law.

Brandon E. Vaughn


Chair, Black Firm Member Resource Group

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