May 22, 2013
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Judge throws out jury verdict in former trooper's civil suit
CONCORD — A judge has thrown out a jury verdict that awarded a former state trooper $1.5 million in a civil lawsuit alleging he was wrongly held against his will after a confrontation with superiors.
Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Larry M. Smukler vacated the jury verdict this week, granting the state's motion for a directed verdict.
Smukler ruled that the New Hampshire Department of Safety, Capt. Mark Myrdek and the state police believed that placing Conrad in protective custody in November 2007 was necessary for the safety of Conrad, his estranged wife and the public.
Attorney General Michael Delaney received the decision Friday.
The jury reached the verdict on May 19 after a two-week trial.
The state asked for a directed verdict during the trial and the court took it under advisement. After considering the case, Smukler ruled that the Department of Safety was entitled to sovereign immunity for the incident on Nov. 28, 2007.
Witnesses said Conrad needed to be restrained after having an emotional breakdown.
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