Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court reversed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant in this action alleging that Defendant, as a landowner, violated his duty of care to his invitee, a four-year-old boy. The boy wandered off during a family party on Defendant’s property and suffered severe brain damage from a near-drowning in the Mississippi River. The district court granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that the harm to the boy was not foreseeable to Defendant. The court of appeals affirmed on the ground that Defendant was not liable because the danger was “obvious” to the boy. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) there were disputed facts regarding whether the danger of swimming in the river should have been obvious to the boy; and (2) the issue of foreseeability was one to be decided by a jury. View "Senogles v. Carlson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA) to reverse the denial of Respondent's claim for ankle-fusion surgery. Respondent, who was injured during the course of her employment, filed a workers’ compensation claim petition for ankle-fusion surgery. The compensation judge denied Respondent’s claim for the ankle-fusion surgery. The WCCA reversed. Respondent’s employer appealed, arguing that the WCCA exceeded the scope of its review when it reversed the compensation judge’s decision to deny benefits to Respondent. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the compensation judge’s finding was “supported by evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate,” and therefore, the WCCA clearly and manifestly erred in rejecting this finding. View "Mattick v. Hy-Vee Foods Stores" on Justia Law

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The Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA) clearly and manifestly erred by rejecting the findings of the compensation judge and overturning the determination that Respondent failed to establish her claim for benefits by a preponderance of the evidence. Respondent filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits after falling and injuring her shoulder while rushing up a staircase at the workplace of her employer. The compensation judge denied the claim. The WCCA reversed the compensation judge’s decision. The Supreme Court reversed the WCCA’s decision and reinstated the compensation judge’s decision, holding (1) the WCCA impermissibly substituted its own view of the evidence for that of the compensation judge; and (2) the findings of the compensation judge were supported by substantial evidence that a reasonable mind would accept as adequate. View "Kubis v. Community Memorial Hospital Ass’n" on Justia Law

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The Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA) was correct in concluding that Respondent’s injury was compensable. Respondent, who was employed by the University of Minnesota, slipped and fell on any icy sidewalk when walking from her workplace to a parking ramp owned and operated by the university. The compensation judge denied Respondent’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits, concluding that Respondent’s injury did not “arise out of” her employment. The WCCA reversed, concluding that Respondent was in the course of her employment when she was injured. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Respondent’s injury was compensable because it both arose out of, and was in the course of, her employment. View "Hohlt v. University of Minnesota" on Justia Law

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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