Justia Minnesota Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Health Law
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In 2000, Appellant was indeterminately committed as a sexual dangerous person as a result of a series of sex offenses involving teenage girls. Appellant later petitioned for provisional discharge from civil commitment. After weighing the evidence presented by Appellant and the Commissioner of Human Services at a first-phase hearing, the Supreme Court Judicial Appeal Panel dismissed Appellant's petition under Minn. R. Civ. P. 41.02(b). The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Appeal Panel committed reversible error in applying Rule 41.02(b) by failing to view the evidence produced at the first-phase hearing in a light most favorable to Appellant and by weighing the evidence produced during the first phase of the hearing. Remanded. View "Coker v. Jesson" on Justia Law

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In 2004, Doctor informed Employer, a medical clinic, that he planned to exercise his rights under Employer's policy that rewarded length of service by giving benefits to physicians who were sixty years old or older and had at least fifteen years of taking night calls. Doctor agreed to postpone exercising his rights under the policy until the next year. In 2005, Employer told Doctor that the policy no longer existed. Doctor later withdrew from taking night call. As a result, Employer reduced Doctor's salary. In 2009, sued Employer for breach of contract and promissory estoppel, claiming Employer breached the policy by refusing to allow him to be exempt from night call without salary reduction. The district court granted Employer's motion to dismiss, holding that the two-year statute of limitations began to run in 2005 when Employer informed Doctor it would not honor its obligations under the policy. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that a new cause of action accrued each time a payment was due but not paid. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Doctor's cause of action accrued, and the statute of limitations began to run, in 2005, and therefore, Doctor's claim was barred by the statute of limitations. View "Park Nicollet Clinic v. Hamann" on Justia Law

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The Minnesota Department of Health, as part of its newborn screening program, collected blood samples of newborn children to test for various disorders. The Department retained the excess blood samples for other uses and allowed outside research organizations to use them to conduct health studies. Nine families (Appellants) sued the State and the Department (Appellees), arguing that the Department violated the Genetic Privacy Act by collecting, using, storing, and disseminating the children's blood samples and test results without obtaining written informed consent. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Appellees, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the blood samples collected and stored by the Department were genetic information subject to the restrictions of the Genetic Privacy Act; and (2) the newborn screening statutes provided an express exception to the Genetic Privacy Act only to the extent that the Department was authorized to administer newborn screening by testing the samples for disorders and to store the test results, and the newborn screening statutes did not expressly authorize the Department to collect, use, store, or disseminate the blood samples for any other use without written consent. View "Bearder v. State" on Justia Law

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After suffering a work-related injury, Employee underwent surgery at a hospital owned by HealthEast Care System. The injury required surgical implantation of a spinal cord stimulator. Employer's worker's compensation insurance provider, State Auto Insurance, paid part but not all of the surgical expenses, asserting (1) the withheld portion of the expenses was attributable to a price markup added by HealthEast to the price paid by HealthEast for the implant hardware used in Employee's surgery, and (2) the manufacturer of the implant hardware should be required to charge directly for the implant hardware. The compensation judge found that Employer and State Auto were liable for the unpaid balance. The Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) HealthEast could charge for the implant hardware because when more than one health care provider is responsible for the creation of a service, article, or supply, the provider that provides the service, article, or supply in its final form is entitled to charge for it; and (2) a compensation judge does not have the authority to determine a reasonable value of a treatment, service, or supply that is lower than eighty-five percent of the provider's usual or customary charge. View "Troyer v. Vertlu Mgmt. Co." on Justia Law