For a number of years the Minnesota Legislature has been looking at the survivor statute as a possible law change. Basically, a change is needed to deal with cases where a plaintiff dies before the case is settled or reached a judgment. Today in Minnesota , when a plaintiff dies from causes other than their injuries, their pain and suffering claim dies with them. This is different than most states around the country.
The major issue arrives with Plaintiffs who are very old or very sick. Defendants have an incentive to drag cases along. It has been clear in nursing home cases that this is a ready weapon in the defense’s arsenal box. It is so odd that a case can be settled the day before and it is viable, but the day of it no longer exists. There is absolutely no viable reason to give the defendant this kind of relief.
Now there is still a claim for medicals and wage loss, and at times we have been able to still work something out for the family, but in reality it is very little. It mostly involves insurance companies that have set reserves and pay some of it out to close a file.
The legislature could protect those who are most vulnerable by going to work in January and getting this bill to the Governors desk.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.