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Feld family's legal circus ends in a no-decision

WASHINGTON — A bitter assault case between members of the family behind the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus ended Tuesday with jurors deciding that neither side proved its case.

The jury rejected Karen Feld's $110 million claim that her brother, circus CEO Kenneth Feld, who lives in Tampa, had his security guards assault her at a memorial service for their late aunt. The jury also rejected Kenneth Feld's counterclaim that his sister trespassed at the 2007 shiva by shouting anti-Semitic obscenities that disrupted the service.

Karen Feld, a 63-year-old Washington resident, said she has a history of brain injuries that cause seizures. She testified she couldn't control what she was saying when she went into one of her episodes at her aunt's memorial service.

She said that her brother's guards harmed her by dragging her out of the service and that she eventually needed to have a tumor removed because of their assault and battery.

But the jurors did not agree after a two-week trial in which three security guards contradicted her version of events.

Kenneth Feld, 62, smiled broadly and hugged his lawyers in response to the verdict. He said afterward he was happy with the outcome, but he felt it was a shame their feud had to go so far.

"It never should have come to this," Kenneth Feld said. "There's no way I ever wanted this to be in the courtroom."

In an e-mail to the Associated Press, Karen Feld said: "I respect the jury's decision, but I'm disappointed that Kenny got away with bad and malicious behavior at my expense yet one more time."

Feld family's legal circus ends in a no-decision 05/24/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 11:58pm]

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