Minnesota Wrongful Death Jury Instructions
Minnesota Wrongful Death Jury Instructions

Jury Instruction CIVJIG 91.75

Minnesota Wrongful Death Jury Instructions CIVJIG 91.75 sets forth the measure of damages in a wrongful death claim in Minnesota. The following is an excerpt from a copy an example of the questions a jury is asked pertaining to what damages – which usually means money should the next-of-kin of the deceased should receive to compensate them for the wrongful death of their family member.

CIV JIG 91.75 Will Likely Be Amended for New Laws Allowing Pain and Suffering

Minnesota amended the wrongful death act Minn. Stat. 573.02 effective May 20, 2023, the New Minnesota Wrongful Death Law now allows for all damages suffered by the decedent resulting from the injury prior to the decedent’s death. This means the pain and suffering a person endures prior to the death survives their death and the claims can be brought throught the trustee appointed for the next-of-kin of the decedent. The jury as the “finders of fact” hear evidence on the nature of the injuries, the medical treatment, records and expert and lay testimony to determine the amount of pain and suffering and emotional distress to award. In addition to pain and suffering the next-of-kin can also sue for pecuniary damages.

The Jury Decides the Money Value of Damages Pecuniary Loss

When you consider damages for claimant (s), determine an amount of money that will fairly and adequately compensate (claimant)(s) for the losses (he) (she) (they) suffered as the result of this death. You should consider what (name of deceased) would have provided to the (claimant)(s) if (he) (she) (they) had lived.

Jury Instructions – Factors to consider:

You [as the jury] should consider:
1. (His) (Her) contributions in the past
2. (His) (Her) life expectancy at the time of (his) (her) death
3. (His) (Her) health, age habits, talents, and success
4. (His) (Her) occupation
5. (His) (Her) past earnings
6. (His) (Her) likely future earning capacity and prospects of bettering (himself) (herself) had (he) (she) lived
7. (His) (Her) personal living expenses (cost of supporting the child)
8. (His) (Her) legal obligation to support the (surviving spouse) (next of kin) and the likelihood that (he)
9. All reasonable expenses incurred for a funeral and burial (etc.), and all reasonable expenses for support due to (his) (her) last sickness, including necessary medical and hospital expenses incurred after and as a result of the injuries causing death
10. [The probability of (name of decedent)’s paying the debt owned by ______________ to ______________]
11. The counsel, guidance, and aid (he) (she) would have given (claimant) (s)
12. [The advice, comfort, assistance, and protection that (name of decedent) would have given if (he) (she) had lived.]

Jury Instructions The Jury Determines Lost time together:

[The jury must] decide the length of time those related might be expected to survive together. You should compare the life expectancy of (name of decedent) with the life expectancy of each claimant. Take into account only the amount of time the two being compared would be expected to survive together. Base your money damages for each claimant on the shorter life expectancy of the two being compared.

Not all Damages Available for All Wrongful Death Claims

As I explained in New Minnesota Wrongful Death Law, all damages are now allowed for all damages suffered by the decedent resulting from the injury prior to the decedent’s death. Now the pain and suffering suffered by the victim of the abuse or neglect is an included damage.

Without court approval the jury is instructed to not punished the defendant with their verdict. Further the damages listed in the jury instructions such as past earnings may be less or more relevant depending on the facts of the case, including the age of the deceased.

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.