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Complex Dairy Case Settled After Opening Statements Presented to Jury


A strong opening statement to a federal jury led to the settlement of a complex product liability case involving a large central Nebraska Dairy. In mid-May, 2003, a 12 member US District Court jury heard opening statements by David Domina for the plaintiffs and a Denver CO lawyer for manufacturer Westfalia Surge, Inc., the world's 2nd largest milking machine company.

Defense lawyers asked US Circuit Judge William Jay Riley, Omaha, sitting by designation as a trial judge, for time to discuss settlement after hearing Domina's opening statement for Halimage Farms LLC.

Halimage hired Domina and James F. Cann of Domina Law Group to handle its damages case after the company's 1200 cow dairy was ravaged by problems related to allegedly defective milking equipment.

Settlement discussions and terms were confidential. Domina told the jury in his opening presentation that economic evidence would prove damages of nearly $4.4 million.

Halimage is owned by Dutch immigrants Geert and Haneke Sikkenga of Heartwell NE, and Mr. Sikkenga's parents, Harm & Liene Sikkenga who have dairy farms in Manitoba Canada and in The Netherlands.

Domina offered no comment on the settlement. James Cann of Domina Law Group noted: "When you are ready for trial and in the thick of battle, a settlement is always a bit of a let down for a trial lawyer" he said. "But, our clients are well satisfied and for them, so are we."

Cann who was instrumental to the case, complimented Westfalia Surge's counsel for their professionalism during the final preparatory days before trial.

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