Articles Posted in Minnesota Supreme Court

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Plaintiff sued Defendants, health care providers, alleging professional negligence. Defendants filed a motion to compel authorization of an informal discussion with the surgeon who performed the Plaintiff’s surgery. The surgeon was not named as a defendant. Upon Plaintiff’s motion, the district court issued a protective order requiring Plaintiff to authorize the surgeon to participate in the informal discussion but restricting Defendants’ questioning of the surgeon to his own treatment of Plaintiff. Defendants filed an interlocutory appeal. Meanwhile, the parties and the surgeon participated in an informal discussion. While the interlocutory appeal was pending, the case was tried to a jury. The district court allowed the surgeon to opine on matters other than his own treatment of Plaintiff. The jury found in favor of Defendants. Thereafter, the court of appeals proceeded to decide the interlocutory appeal and reversed the district court’s protective order, concluding that Defendants were allowed to ask the surgeon about Defendants’ care of Plaintiff and the cause of her injury. The Supreme Court vacated the court of appeals’ opinion, holding that the court of appeals lacked appellate jurisdiction over the interlocutory order. View "Howard v. Svoboda" on Justia Law

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Meagher & Geer, PLLP (MG) represented Ryan Contracting Company (Ryan) in an action to foreclose on several mechanic’s liens. Later, represented by O’Neill & Murphy, LLP (O’Neill), Ryan brought suit against MG for legal malpractice arising out of MG’s allegedly defective filing and foreclosure of Ryan’s mechanic’s liens. The district court granted MG’s motion to dismiss on the ground that O’Neill failed to timely file expert witness affidavits. Ryan then brought suit against O’Neill for legal malpractice arising out of O’Neill’s representation of Ryan in the MG lawsuit. The district court granted summary judgment for O’Neill, concluding that the mechanic’s liens were not perfected, not because of MG’s conduct, but because of Ryan’s error in not filing the pre-lien notice to the property owner required by Minn. Stat. 514.011. The court of appeals reversed in part, concluding that Ryan was exempt from the pre-lien notice requirement under section 514.011, and there were genuine issues of fact regarding the other issues. The Supreme Court affirmed as modified, holding that the court of appeals did not err in concluding that Ryan was not required to give pre-lien notice to enforce its mechanic’s liens. View "Ryan Contracting Co. v. O’Neill & Murphy, LLP" on Justia Law

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This case required the Supreme Court to decide whether an airplane manufacturer owed a duty to a noncommercial pilot who, after purchasing an airplane from the manufacturer but failing to receive all of the flight training promised to him as part of that purchase, died when his airplane crashed. The district court found the manufacturer was negligent. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the manufacturer did not have a duty to provide training and that the claims were barred by the educational malpractice doctrine. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the manufacturer did not owe a duty to the pilot, and thus the district court erred in its judgment; and (2) accordingly, the Court did not reach, among other things, the issues of educational malpractice or causation. View "Glorvigen v. Cirrus Design Corp." on Justia Law

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The Board on Judicial Standards charged Judge Gregory Galler with creating an appearance of impropriety during an omnibus hearing in a DWI case, asserting, among other claims, that Judge Galler ordered a criminal defense attorney to write a letter of apology for allegedly impugning the integrity of a police officer during the attorney's oral argument at the omnibus hearing. A hearing panel appointed by the chief justice (1) dismissed the complaint against Judge Galler, finding that the Board failed to prove the allegations by clear and convincing evidence, and (2) denied Judge Galler's motion for attorney fees and costs under Minn. R. Civ. P. 11. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the panel had the authority to dismiss the case after the Board rested, and the panel did not err in dismissing the complaint; and (2) the panel did not err when it denied Judge Galler's motion for attorney fees and costs. View "In re Judge Galler" on Justia Law

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Appellant Elaine Wesely filed a dental malpractice action, alleging that she received negligent care from dentist A. David Flor. To satisfy the statutory requirement of expert disclosure, Wesely submitted an affidavit disclosing the opinions of a doctor of internal medicine, not a dentist. After Flor moved to dismiss the claim, asserting the affidavit was deficient because the internist was not qualified to be an expert in the action, Wesely's counsel submitted a second affidavit identifying a dentist-expert and disclosing his opinions. The district court granted Flor's motion to dismiss, concluding that the second affidavit did not amend the original affidavit. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the second affidavit was an amended affidavit that was capable of correcting the alleged deficiencies of the first affidavit. Remanded. View "Wesely v. Flor" on Justia Law