Minnesota Wrongful Death Comparative Fault
Minnesota Wrongful Death Comparative Fault

How Does Comparative Fault Impact a Wrongful Death Claim?

Minnesota wrongful death comparative fault issues are present in cases where the plaintiff (deceased) had some form of potential comparative fault which lead to the incident which caused injury and death.

What is “Modified Comparative Fault”

In Minnesota there is a concept called “modified comparative fault” as opposed to a “purse comparative fault” state. In our system recovery is barred for damages that occur when the plaintiff’s fault is not greater than the fault of the party who caused the incident

What is Scope of Comparative Fault Laws in Minnesota?

According to Minn. Stat. 604.11, Subd. 1., “contributory fault does not bar recovery in an action by any person or the person’s legal representative to recover damages for fault resulting in death, in injury to person or property, or in economic loss, if the contributory fault was not greater than the fault of the person against whom recovery is sought, but any damages allowed must be diminished in proportion to the amount of fault attributable to the person recovering. The court may, and when requested by any party shall, direct the jury to find separate special verdicts determining the amount of damages and the percentage of fault attributable to each party and the court shall then reduce the amount of damages in proportion to the amount of fault attributable to the person recovering.”

How is “Fault” Defined by Statute?

According to Minn. Stat. 604.01, Subd. 1a. Fault. defines:

“Fault” includes acts or omissions that are in any measure negligent or reckless toward the person or property of the actor or others, or that subject a person to strict tort liability. The term also includes breach of warranty, unreasonable assumption of risk not constituting an express consent or primary assumption of risk, misuse of a product and unreasonable failure to avoid an injury or to mitigate damages, and the defense of complicity under section 340A.801. Legal requirements of causal relation apply both to fault as the basis for liability and to contributory fault. The doctrine of last clear chance is abolished.

Evidence of unreasonable failure to avoid aggravating an injury or to mitigate damages may be considered only in determining the damages to which the claimant is entitled. It may not be considered in determining the cause of an accident.”

In cases involving vulnerable adults and others unable to protect their own interests the defense of comparative fault is not persuasive since often the alleged neglect party had assumed a duty or legal obligation to protect the individual, patient, resident.

Comparative Fault Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

According to Minn. Stat. 604.01, Subd. 2. Personal injury or death; settlement or payment.

“Settlement with or any payment made to an injured person or to others on behalf of such injured person with the permission of such injured person or to anyone entitled to recover damages on account of injury or death of such person shall not constitute an admission of liability by the person making the payment or on whose behalf payment was made.”

Contact a Top Rated Minnesota Wrongful Death Attorney

Attorney Kenneth LaBore has handled hundreds of wrongful death cases and has decades experience in knowing how to how negligent parties accountable and how to recover maximum damages under the law. For a free consultation call 612-743-9048 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.