Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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In this negligence lawsuit filed against Kraemer Construction, Inc., the Supreme Court held that Kraemer and Ulland Brothers, Inc. were engaged in a common enterprise as a matter of law when Richard Washburn was killed and that the election of remedies provision required dismissal of the suit. Jessica Kelly, as trustee for the next-of-kin of Washburn, filed this lawsuit against Kraemer for its alleged negligence in causing Washburn’s death by electrocution at a construction site. Kraemer moved for summary judgment, arguing that it was engaged in a common enterprise with Ulland, Washburn’s employer, when Washburn was killed and that the election-of-remedies provision of the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act prevented Kelly from bringing a civil action against Kraemer when her children had already recovered workers’ compensation benefits from Ulland. The court of appeals reversed the district court’s denial of summary judgment and remanded for entry of summary judgment in favor of Kraemer. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Kraemer and Ulland were engaged in a common enterprise and that the election of remedies provision required dismissal. View "Kelly v. Kraemer Construction, Inc." on Justia Law

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Minn. Stat. 554.02, a section of Minnesota’s anti-SLAPP law, is unconstitutional as applied to claims at law alleging torts. Petitioners sued Asian Women United of Minnesota (AWUM), a nonprofit organization, seeking to recover under a number of legal theories of injuries allegedly inflicted by AWUM through four previous lawsuits. AWUM moved for dismissal under Minnesota’s anti-SLAPP law. Minn. Stat. 554.01-.06. The district court dismissed all of Petitioners’ claims with the exception of their claim for malicious prosecution. The district court concluded that Minn. Stat. 554.02 - the section of the law that governs motions “to dispose of a judicial claim” - violated Petitioners’ right to a jury trial by requiring the trial judge to find facts. As a result, the district court denied AWUM’s motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 554.02 is unconstitutional when it requires a district court to make a pretrial finding that speech or conduct is not tortious under Minn. Stat. 554.03, as was the case here. View "Leiendecker v. Asian Women United of Minnesota" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Jerry Expose underwent therapy at Thad Wilderson & Associates, P.A. (the Clinic). During one of his therapy sessions with Nina Mattson, an unlicensed intern-therapist, Expose made statements that threatened serious injury to a particular individual. Mattson reported the threats, and a jury found Expose guilty of making terroristic threats. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the therapist-client privilege prohibited Mattson from testifying about information she learned during Expose’s therapy sessions. Before appealing, Expose filed suit against the Clinic and Mattson (collectively, Appellants). The district court concluded that Appellants were immune from liability under the common law doctrine of absolute privilege. The court of appeals reversed on all issues except the immunity under the doctrine of absolute privilege as to the testimony from the criminal trial. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) an unlicensed intern-therapist has no statutory duty to disclose to law enforcement information regarding a serious threat of physical violence made against an identifiable person; (2) the doctrine of absolute privilege does not shield the disclosures made by an unlicensed intern-therapist to law enforcement and to prosecutors; and (3) a consent form notifying a client of the client’s rights under the Minnesota Health Records Act does not authorize the release of the client’s medical records. View "Expose v. Thad Wilderson & Associates, P.A." on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury