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Supreme Court Call - Case Summaries

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

S-12-1186, Eric McDougle, LMHP, PLADC v. State of Nebraska DHHS, Regulation and Licensure

Lancaster County, Judge Andrew Jacobsen

Attorneys: Denise Destache (Lamson, Dugan and Murray, LLP) for Appellant Eric McDougle — Julie Agena, Assistant Attorney General, for Appellee State of Nebraska

Civil: Agency license revocation; Administrative Procedures Act

Proceedings below: After an investigation and disciplinary hearing, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) revoked McDougle’s professional licenses. McDougle petitioned for judicial review by the District Court of Lancaster County. The district court granted the DHHS’s motion to dismiss finding that service of a request on the Agency for preparation of its record is a prerequisite to jurisdiction under the Administrative Procedures Act.

Issue: Whether request for preparation of the Agency’s record within 30 days of filing Petition for Judicial Review is required for the district court to obtain jurisdiction under the Nebraska Administrative Procedure Act 

S-13-0918, American Red Cross (Appellant) v. Rita Dantzler

Lancaster County, Hon. Stephen D. Burns

Attorneys:  Christopher A. Sievers (Timmermier Gross & Prentiss); Dirk V. Block, Steven J. Riekes (Marks Clare & Richards)

Civil:  Subrogation - Workers’ Compensation

Proceedings below:  District court sustained defendant’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.

Issues:  Whether complaint stated a cause of action; whether court erred by relying on a statement made by defendant in a hearing and by assuming a material fact in favor of the defendant; whether the court erred by failing to award attorney fees and costs to the plaintiff.

 

S-13-0808, William Weber and Dixie Weber (Appellants) v. North Loup River Public Power and Irrigation District (Appellee).

Loup County, Judge Karin L. Noakes.

Attorneys:         Rodney J. Palmer (Appellants) (Palmer Law Group, L.L.C.) --- Adam J. Prochaska (Appellee) (Harding & Schultz, P.C., L.L.O.).

Civil:     Breach of contract and negligence claims concerning North Loup’s failure to deliver water to the Webers’ land.

Issues on Appeal: The trial court erred in (1) failing to determine if any amount of payment was due or owing at the time Appellants filed suit making the issue of prior payment a question of fact; (2) finding that Appellants had not paid the annual water assessment as a matter of contract which was a fact for the jury; (3) failing to find the District breached its contract to provide water to Appellants prior to their need or request for the irrigation water further making the need for payment a question of fact.

S-13-0928, Mark Stauffer and Cindi Stauffer (Appellees) v. Betty Jean Benson (Appellant)

Phelps County, Judge Stephen R. Illingsworth

Attorneys:  Bradley D. Holbrook & Nicholas R. Norton (Appellees) (Jacobsen, Orr, Lindstrom & Holbrook, P.C., L.L.O.) --- Stephen G. Lowe (Appellant).

Civil:  Breach of Contract (Land Sale)

Issues on Appeal: 1. The Phelps County District Court simply erred in determining that a contractual waiver occurred in this case. 2. The Phelps County District Court erred in determining that a contractual precondition was not in fact a precondition at all, determining that a waiver of that "condition" had occurred and that a condition precedent to performance by the Defendant had been met, waived or somehow became unnecessary. The conclusion was supported by no evidence to enable the trial court to reach such a result. 3. The Phelps County District Court erred in finding that a breach of contract occurred between Plaintiffs and Defendant and that the breach was committed by Defendant. The breach occurred when Plaintiffs failed to qualify for FHA financing. 4. No finding of fact was made by the Phelps County District Court that repudiation had occurred or that there was justification for the repudiation.

S-12-1042, State Farm Fire & Casualty Company v. Jerry Dantzler, David Chuo, Individually and as father and next friend to Chuol Geit, and Chuol Geit (Appellant)

Douglas County, Judge Kimberly M. Pankonin

Attorneys: David J. Stubstad, Patrick S. Cooper (Fraser Stryker PCLLO) --- Michael A. Nelsen (Marks Clare & Richards LLC) (Appellant Dantzler)

Civil: Declaratory judgment; determination of coverage under policy

Proceedings below: The district court found the State Farm policy did not provide coverage to Mr. Dantzler for lead-based paint claim made against him. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for further proceedings. See State Farm v. Dantzler, 21 Neb. 564 (2013). Appellee State Farm filed a Petition for Further Review which was granted by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Issues on Review: 1. The Court of Appeals erred in disregarding Nebraska law, and in adopting a

Connecticut trial court opinion, in deciding that part of the pollution exclusion was ambiguous.

2. The Court of Appeals erred in disregarding Nebraska law and relying upon a Connecticut trial court decision in concluding there is more than one reasonable interpretation of part of the pollution exclusion, because this Court has previously held the entire exclusion is "clear," "unambiguous as a matter of law," and "susceptible of only one possible interpretation."

3. The Court of Appeals erred in disregarding Nebraska law and relying upon a Connecticut trial court decision as the basis for assessing the "reasonable expectations" of State Farm's insured, because (a) the pollution exclusion is unambiguous, and (b) the reasonable expectations of an insured are not assessed unless a policy provision is ambiguous. 4. The Court of Appeals erred in concluding there was a question of fact as to whether the lead paint exposure was caused by a "discharge, dispersal, release, spill, or escape," because its analysis was based on the Connecticut trial court decision, and ignored the majority rule that lead paint exposure results from a discharge, dispersal, spill, release, or escape.

S-13-0543, In re Estate of Ralph R. Greb, Nanette Joy Wright (Appellant) v. Richard A. Greb (Cross-Appellant) and First Nebraska Trust Company

Lancaster County, Hon. Thomas Fox

Attorneys: Stanton N. Beeder, Kara J. Ronnau (Cline Williams) (representing Nanette Wright); J.L. Spray, Christina L. Usher (Mattson Ricketts) (representing Richard Greb) Timothy L. Moll, Ramzi J. Hynek, Shelia A. Bentzen (Rembolt Ludtke) (representing First Nebraska Trust Company)

Civil: Probate

Proceedings below:  County court denied the beneficiaries’ respective objections and approved the personal representative’s plan for distributions from the estate.

Issues: The County Court erred in determining that the U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo accounts were multiple-party accounts with a right of survivorship. II. The County Court erred in determining that extrinsic evidence of Ralph's intent was relevant when the respective contracts for deposit for the U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo accounts were in substantially the same form provided in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 30-2719(a). III. The County Court erred in determining that the contracts for deposit for the U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo accounts were not submitted into evidence. IV. The County Court erred in finding that it was necessary to determine whether

Appellant could attack the legal existence and corporate actions of G & G. V. The County Court erred in determining that Appellee did not have knowledge of the involuntary administrative dissolution of G & G. VI. The County Court erred in determining that an involuntarily administratively dissolved corporation may authorize the transfer of shares or securities.

VII. The County Court erred in failing to determine that an involuntarily administratively dissolved corporation may not authorize and issue corporate loans to officers and other business entities. VIII. The County Court erred in failing to determine that an involuntarily administratively dissolved corporation may not authorize and issue corporate dividends.

Cross-Appeal by Greb: 1. The County Court erred in determining that performance of the Wright Notes took place in Nebraska. 2. The County Court erred in determining that the weight of factors considered in resolving the conflict of laws between Nebraska and Arizona on the status of the Wright Notes favored using Nebraska law. 3. The County Court erred in determining that the Wright Notes do not constitute indebtedness owed by Nanette Wright and the amount of the Wright Notes should not be offset against Nanette Wright's interest in the Estate. 4. The County Court erred in determining that the Wright Notes should be distributed in kind to the Decedent's children.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

S-13-0559, State v. Tillman Henderson (Appellant)

Douglas County, Judge J. Russell Derr

Attorneys: Nathan A. Liss (Attorney General’s Office) --- Thomas Riley, Zoe Wade (Public Defender’s Office) (Appellant)

Criminal: Count I: First Degree Murder; Count II: Use of a Deadly Weapon to Commit a Felony; Count III: Attempted Murder in the First Degree; Count IV: Use of a Deadly Weapon to Commit a Felony; Count V, Use of a Deadly Weapon by a Prohibited Person

Proceedings below: A jury found Appellant guilty of all charges. He was sentenced as follows: Count I: Life in Prison; Count II, 20 to 20 years; Count III 50 to 50 years; Count IV 20 to 20 years; Count V; 20 to 20 years. All sentences were ordered to be served consecutively.

Issues: The trial court erred in (1) overruling Appellant’s objection to the State obtaining a second search warrant for a cellular phone; (2) admitting the contents of the cellular phone including text messages, photographs, under the search incident to arrest exception to the warrant requirement; (3) overruling the motion to suppress the second search warrant for the cellular phone; (4) admitting the contents of the cellular phone over foundation objection; (5) admitting incoming text messages under the hearsay exception for statements of a co-conspirator; (6) granting the City’s motion for protective order of Omaha Police Department gang files; (7) denied Appellant’s motion for mistrial after Det. Herfordt identified a photograph on the cellular phone as an “infamous gang member”; (8) denied Appellant’s motion to strike the testimony of Det. Herfordt after he admitted he had no personal knowledge of the person in the photograph; (9) overruling Appellant’s motion for mistrial and motion to strike testimony of Ramone Navarez for relevance. 

S-13-0993, In re Interest of Justine J. et al.

Separate Juvenile Court for Douglas County, Judge Elizabeth Crnkovich

Attorneys: Cassidy V. Chapman, Andrea M. Smith (for Appellee Shawna S.) --- Jennifer Chrystal-Clark (County Attorney’s Office)

Proceedings below: This case was previously before the Supreme Court. See In re Interest of Justine J., 286 Neb. 250 (2013) (affirmed in part, and in part reversed and remanded with directions). Upon remand, the juvenile court found that although the State had presented clear and convincing evidence that Sylissa and Justine came within Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-292(1) and (9), termination of Appellee’s parental rights was not in their best interests.

Issues: The State argues the trial court erred in (1) finding the State met its burden with respect to the motion for termination of parental rights but finding termination was not in the best interests of the children; (2) erred in relying on inadmissible, speculative evidence not based on fact; (3) failing to find termination is in the best interests of the children. 

S-13-0785, State of Nebraska v. Malual Mamer (Appellant)

Douglas County, Hon. W. Russell Bowie

Attorneys:  Kevin Ruser (Civil Clinical Law Program – UNL); Nathan A. Liss (Assistant Attorney General)

Civil:  Motion to Withdraw Plea – Ineffective Assistance of Counsel with Respect to Immigration Issues

Proceedings below:  District court denied motion to withdraw plea after it concluded that common-law remedy was not available because defendant could have raised his claim that counsel provided ineffective assistance with respect to immigration advisements in a postconviction proceeding.

Issues:  Whether postconviction relief was available to the defendant when he was in state custody under a sentence for only three weeks and he asserts that he did not know that he could face immigration consequences until after he was released from state custody.

 

S-13-0339, In re Interest of Joseph S. et al.

Douglas County Juvenile Court, Judge Elizabeth Crnkovich

Attorneys:  Christine D. Kellogg (Public Defender’s Office) (for natural mother Kerri S.) --- Jennifer Chrystal-Clark (County Attorney’s Office) (Appellant) --- Maureen K. Monahan (GAL for minor children)

Civil: Adjudication / termination

Proceedings below:  The juvenile court found the children to be within the meaning of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-247(3)(a) but found the children were not within Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-292(2) for lack of clear and convincing evidence that it was in the best interests of the children to terminate Appellant’s parental rights. The court dismissed Counts III and IV of the amended petition. The Court of Appeals affirmed. Appellant filed a Petition for Further Review which was granted by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Issues:  The  Court of Appeals erred in finding the State failed to present clear and convincing evidence that termination of parental rights of Kerri S. as to Joseph S., William S. and Steven S. under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-292(2) was appropriate and in the best interests of the minor children. 

S-13-0396, In re Interest of Dalon T. et al.

Separate Juvenile Court for Douglas County, Judge Wadie Thomas

Attorneys: Reginald Young (Appellant Henry L., grandfather) --- Shakil Malik (County Attorney’s Office)

Civil: determination of juvenile court’s jurisdiction

Proceedings below: The juvenile court found the minor child had been adopted and terminated jurisdiction over Naleighja T. Appellant, the grandfather, appealed.

Issues: The juvenile court erred in (1) denying Appellant’s motion for placement and visitation and failing to hold the scheduled hearing; (2) terminating its jurisdiction as to Naleighja T. prior to and without hearing Appellant’s motion for visitation and placement.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

S-13-1077, State v. Wellington Carngbe (Appellant)

Lancaster County District Court, Judge Jodi Nelson

Attorneys: George R. Love (Attorney General’s Office) --- Dennis Keefe & Timothy Eppler (Public Defender’s Office) (Appellant)

Criminal: Excessive sentence; burglary, class III felony

Proceedings below: Appellant pled no contest to burglary and was sentenced to 6 to 8 years of imprisonment. 

Issues: 1) The sentence imposed by the district court should have included credit for time served on CR12-1012, and 2) the sentence imposed by the district court was excessive and constituted an abuse of discretion.

 

S-13-1020, Loretta D. Collins (Appellant) v. Nebraska State Bar Association

Nebraska State Bar Commission

Attorneys: Pro Se Appellant --- Stephanie Caldwell (Attorney General’s Office for the Bar Commission)

Civil: Denial admission to the Nebraska Bar

Proceedings below: Appellant was denied admission to the Nebraska Bar after which she requested a hearing before the Commission. After a hearing, the Commission upheld the denial to the Nebraska State Bar Association. Collins appeals.

Issues: 1. The Commission erred when they determined that Loretta D. Collins did not have the present requisite character and fitness for admission to the Nebraska State Bar Association.

A. Collins has the requisite present character and fitness for admission to the Nebraska State Bar Association when her conduct is considered based on recency of origin, candor in the admission process and the materiality of omissions.

B. Collins has proffered sufficient evidence that she has the present character and fitness worthy of the trust and confidence clients, adversaries, courts, and other professionals may reasonably place in the attorneys.

S-13-0647, David Brock (appellant) v. Tim Dunning, individually and in his official capacity as Douglas County Sheriff, and Douglas County

Douglas County, Judge W. Mark Ashford

Attorneys: Bruce G. Mason (Appellant) -- Donald Kleine/Bernard Monbouquette (County Attorney)

Civil: retaliatory discharge action

(1) He alleged that in retaliation for his having filed a workers’ compensation claim, the

Proceedings below: The court granted summary judgment to Dunning and Douglas County on both claims and dismissed Brock’s complaint in all respects.

Issues: Whether the court erred as follows:

(1) Concluding that there were no genuine issues of material fact and that Dunning and the county were entitled to judgment as a matter of law;

(2) Concluding that under his § 1983 action, Brock was required to exhaust his administrative remedies by filing notice of his claims under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act;

(3) Finding no official custom, practice, or policy of obstructing, delaying, denying, and terminating Brock in retaliation for exercising his rights under the Workers’ Compensation Act;

(4) Finding that Brock’s employment was terminated for a legitimate, non-pretextual reason in reliance on an administrative decision that the court erroneously concluded was res judicata in Brock’s section 1983 action; and

(5) Finding that Brock’s reports of racial profiling by the supervisor of the sheriff’s K-9 unit was not protected speech.

S-13-0418, Arlan D. Schellhorn & Dawn L. Schellhorn v. Joseph L. Schmieding & Carol L. Schmieding (Appellants)

Seward County, Hon. Karen B. Flowers

Attorneys: Kent E. Rauert & Matthew R. Watson, Svehla, Thomas, Rauert & Grafton, P.C. (Appellants)--- Timothy L. Moll, Rembolt Ludtke, LLP

Civil: quiet title--adverse possession--prescriptive easement

Proceedings Below: The Schellhorns filed an adverse possession claim against the Schmiedings seeking that title to the disputed parcel (of which the Schmiedings were record owners) be quieted in their favor. The Schmiedings filed a cross-claim seeking a prescriptive easement in the event that title was quieted in the Schellhorns. Title was quieted. The Schmiedings appeal, and the Schellhorns cross-appeal.

Issues on appeal: Whether the district court erred in (1) quieting title in the Schellhorns; and (2) in not granting the Schmiedings a prescriptive easement.

Issue on cross-appeal: In the event that title should have been quieted in the Schmiedings, the Schellhorns assign that they should be granted a prescriptive easement.

A-13-0689) Sam Christiansen v. County of Douglas, et al. (Appellants)
A-13-0691) Rich McShane v. County of Douglas, et al. (Appellants)

(Consolidated Appeals)

Douglas County, Judge Gary B. Randall

Attorneys: Joel Bacon, Gary L. Young, Jefferson Downing, Thomas P. McCarty (Keating O’Gara Nedved & Peter PCLLO) (Appellees/Cross-Appellants) --- Bernard J. Monbouquette (County Attorney’s Office)

Civil: Contracts, estoppel; declaratory and injunctive relief

Proceedings below: After a trial to the court, the district court found that a contractual obligation existed based on estoppel and ratification, and entered judgment for the plaintiffs. The district court enjoined the County from treating the members of the retired employees class differently that active employees regarding the percentage of health insurance premiums to be paid for their participation in the County health plan. The order awarded damages of $1,005,223.51 and attorney fees of $178,703.94 pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 for violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The County filed a Petition to Bypass the Court of Appeals which was granted by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Issues:  1. The trial court erred in exercising jurisdiction over the plaintiffs' claims despite their failure to comply with the mandatory, jurisdictional provisions of the Nebraska county contract claim statute. 2. The trial court erred in finding sufficient evidence of equitable estoppel to create a binding legal contract between Douglas County and certain retired County employees concerning the share of the health insurance premium that the retirees would pay after retirement. 3. The trial court erred in finding that the Douglas County Board ratified certain representations by County employees concerning the share of health insurance premiums that retirees would pay in order to participate after retirement. 4. The trial court erred in finding that various representations concerning health insurance premiums created a vested contractual obligation on the County to its retirees. 5. The trial court erred in finding that the County Board's Resolution of September 29, 2009, was a violation of Article I section l6 of the Nebraska Constitution, and Article I section l0 of the United States Constitution. 6. The trial court erred in finding that the County Board's Resolution impaired its obligation to its retirees and was a violation of the constitutional Contracts Savings clause, thus entitling certain retirees to Section 1983 liability and damages. 7. The trial court erred in finding commonality, and then certifying a class of plaintiffs, among former Douglas County employees who retired prior to January 1, 2010.

Cross- Appeal: l. The District Court erred in granting summary judgment to Douglas County on

Appellees' claim that a contractual obligation arose under the Halpin rule. 2. The District Court erred in failing to find a contract arose under the Halpin rule. 3. The District Court erred in failing to rule that a contract arose via ratification.

 

Friday, May 2, 2014

S-13-0903, State v. Thomas P. Merchant (Appellant)

Lancaster County, Judge Steven B. Burns

Attorneys: Mark Porto (Shamberg Wolf McDermott & Depue) (Appellant) --- Nathan A. Liss (Attorney General’s Office)

Criminal: Unlawful sale or purchase of motor vehicle, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 60-1416

Proceedings below: This case was previously before the Supreme Court. See State v. Merchant, 285 Neb. 456 (2013) (reversed and remanded for new trial). After a new trial, a jury found Appellant guilty of the crime. He was found to be a habitual criminal. He was sentenced 12 to 26 years in prison.

Issues: The district court erred in (1) utilizing Jury Instruction No. 3, as opposed to Appellant’s proposed jury instructions 1, 2 and 3; (2) overruling Appellant’s motion for directed verdict.

S-13-0875, Skyline Manor, Inc. (Appellants) v. Robert Rynard, Rebecca Bartle, David Rchey, Paige Harvey, and Dana Wadman-Huth.

Douglas County, Judge Michael Coffey

Attorneys:  Keith Kosaki (Duncan & White) – William Hargens (McGrath North).

Civil: Equitable Accounting under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 21-1949

Proceedings below: dismissal for lack of standing

Issues: 1. The District Court erred in determining that Emerson Link's election to the Skyline

Manor Board of Directors was null and void because Skyline Manor's Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws continued to require a Resident Director to serve on the Board even though Skyline

Manor was not statutorily required to have a Resident Director. 2. The District Court erred in ruling that Emerson Link did not have standing to bring this derivative action under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 21-1949 because Link was a duly elected member of Skyline Manor's Board of Directors pursuant to its Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. 3. The District Court erred in granting the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.

 

A-13-0392, Lana L. Warner (Appellant) v. Lee M. Simmons and Niobrara River Ranch, LLC

Lancaster County, Judge Robert R. Otte

Attorneys: Gregory R. Coffey (Friedman Law Offices PCLLO) (Appellant) --- Robert S. Lannin (Shively & Lannin, PCLLO) and Victor Covalt (Ballew Colvalt Hazen PCLLO)

Civil: Negligence

Proceedings below: The jury found in favor of defendant. Appellant filed a Petition to Bypass the Court of Appeals which was granted by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Issues: The district court erred in instructing the jury in accordance with NJI2d Civ. 8.26 as it is not compatible with Nebraska comparative fault law found at Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-21,185.09 (Reissue 2008).

Cross-Appeal: The district court erred in failing to instruct consistent with NJI2d Civ. 3.01 as requested as it is a correct statement of law.

S-13-0656, deNourie & Yost Homes, LLC (Appellant) v. Joe Frost and Amy Frost and Security State Bank d/b/a Dundee Bank

Douglas County, Judge Gary B. Randall

Attorneys: Jerrold L. Strasheim (Appellant) --- Kristopher J. Covi (McGrath North Mullin & Kratz PCLLO) (Appellees Joe Frost and Amy Frost) --- Christopher J. Tjaden, Michael J. Whaley, Adam J. Wachal (Gross & Welch PCLLO) (for Appellee Dundee Bank)

Civil: Fraudulent inducement; contract; estoppel

Proceedings below: After a trial to the court, the court denied relief to Appellant. Appellant filed a Petition to Bypass the Court of Appeals which was granted by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Issues: The trial court erred in (1) granting partial summary judgment to Appellees; (2) failing to deny Appellees’ Motions for partial summary judgments because they did not meet their burdens of proof; (3) finding Appellees Frosts had not duty to disclose their financial condition, including disregard of issues of fact bearing on Frosts duty to disclose their financial condition; (4) failing to rule on objections taken under advisement; (5) failing to rule in the summary judgment proceedings on Appellant’s claims of fraudulent representations and fraudulent promises by Frosts; (6) failing in summary judgment proceedings to view summary judgment evidence in the light most favorable to Appellant, to accord Appellant the benefit of favorable inferences; (7) failing to hold Appellee, Dundee Bank, liable to Appellant based on promissory estoppel; (8) failing to award Appellant $208,896.41 based on promissory estoppel; (9) failing to award Appellant prejudgment interest from February 1, 2009; (10) failing to rule that Appellants’ reliance on Appellee, Dundee Bank’s promise and commitment to pay Appellant $208,896.41 was in good faith, or was reasonable or both; (11) failing to hold Appellant proved by clear and convincing evidence all essential elements necessary to recover $208,896.41 based on promissory estoppel, equitable estoppel and to award prejudgment interest.

S-13-0848, Michael Simmons v. Precast Haulers, Inc. (Appellant)

Workers’ Compensation Court, Judge Laureen K. Van Norman

Attorneys: Gregory D. Worth (McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips, P.A.) (Appellant) --- Travis Allen Spier (Atwood, Holsten, Brown, Deaver & Spier Law Firm, P.C., L.L.O.)

Civil: Excessive award

Proceedings below: The trial court awarded Appellee attorney’s fees, medical appliances, and compensation for home care provided by his wife.

Issues: The trial court erred in finding 1) Appellee is entitled to attorney’s fees pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. §48-125 in the amount of $36,555l.00, 2) Appellee’s wife is entitled to compensation for provision of home care, and 3) Appellee is entitled to medical appliances in the form of a wheelchair accessible van.

Issues on Cross-Appeal:  The trial court erred as a matter of law by limiting the amount of Neb. Rev. Stat. §48-125 attorney fees awarded to the time expended by plaintiff’s attorneys.