A winning Waters & Kraus, LLP case has been recognized in the 2019 special issue of Texas Lawyer as one of the Top Texas Verdicts of the year. The list, compiled by VerdictSearch, acknowledges the highest grossing verdicts, settlements, and decisions for Texas. The firm’s achievement in a case that stood up to an agenda of intolerance is in line with its diverse practice and representation.
The Winning Verdict
In Stanek v. Guandolo et al., firm partner Peter Kraus and attorney Chris Johnson represented Richard Stanek, the former sheriff of Hennepin County in the State of Minnesota. Sheriff Stanek was assaulted by the leader of a Dallas-based anti-Muslim hate group, John Guandolo.
Following an eight-day trial and two days of deliberation, the verdict was entered against John Guandolo, both in his individual capacity, and his official one as the president of “Understanding the Threat” (UTT). A Dallas Jury awarded the former Minnesota sheriff $600,000 in personal damages following the assault that took place at a convention in Nevada. Guandolo had disapproved of Sheriff Stanek’s outreach efforts to the Muslim community in Minneapolis, and as a result physically attacked him. At the time, the sheriff was recovering from a major neck injury, but the assault further damaged it.
Though Sheriff Stanek had been approached with violence, he clarified that individuals should always be able to engage in civil discourse, even about the most difficult and sensitive topics without resorting to such behavior. “I am grateful to my excellent counsel and the judge and jury in this case for helping me prove this point.”
About Waters & Kraus, LLP
Waters & Kraus is a national plaintiffs’ law firm devoted to helping families in personal injury and wrongful death cases involving asbestos and mesothelioma, benzene exposure, dangerous pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and birth defects caused by pesticides, toxic chemicals, opioid use, and semiconductor chip manufacturing. The law firm also represents plaintiffs in qui tam whistleblower matters and cases that uncover false claims submitted to the government. Based in Dallas, Texas, with offices in Los Angeles, California, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and by appointment in Moline, Illinois, Waters & Kraus has represented families from all fifty states and many foreign countries, as well as foreign governments.