Resources

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Minnesota Supreme Court Finds That The “Proceeds Awarded” In A First-Party Claim For Benefits As Described By Minnesota’s Bad Faith Statute Are Unambiguously Capped By The Insurance Policy.

Wilbur v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company Minnesota Supreme Court 4/5/2017 The Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision in Wilbur v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company addressed a question of first impression regarding the imposition of damages against an insurance company for a bad faith denial of a first-party underinsured motorist (UIM) claim.  Minnesota Statutes Section 604.18 authorizes an award of “taxable costs” against an insurer who has denied a claim for insurance benefits without a reasonable basis; those costs are calculated based upon the amount of the “proceeds awarded” to a claimant following successful claims for breach of contract  … Read more

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The Minnesota Supreme Court issues second of two cases addressing interpretation and finality of Rule of Civil Procedure 5.04

Cole v. Wutzke Minnesota Supreme Court 8/31/16 Cole v. Wutzke, published the same day as Gams v. Houghton (summarized here) relies upon and expands the discussion in Gams, but additionally specifically addresses whether an attorney’s mistake in failing to file within one year can constitute “excusable neglect”.  Cole, 2016 WL 4536505, at *1.  The Minnesota Supreme Court found that an attorney’s ignorance of the application of Rule 5.04 does not doom a Rule 60.02(a) analysis and reiterated that whether specific conduct constitutes “excusable neglect” is a fact-specific enquiry requiring complete analysis of the four Finden factors. Like Gams, Cole was  … Read more

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The Minnesota Supreme Court issues first of two cases addressing interpretation and finality of Rule of Civil Procedure 5.04

Gams v. Houghton Minnesota Court of Appeals 8/31/16 Gams v. Houghton is the first of a pair of recent cases Minnesota Supreme Court cases interpreting Minnesota Rule of Civil Procedure 5.04, which was newly enacted in July, 2013, and provides that any case not filed with the Court within one-year after service on the first defendant is deemed dismissed with prejudice.  Gams, and its companion case Cole v. Wutzke (summarized here) establish that Rule 60.02 motions to vacate  applies to Rule 5.04 dismissals as well as affirming the constitutionality of a dismissal based upon Rule 60.02.  Gams arose out of  … Read more

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Minnesota Court of Appeals holds that an out-of-state insurer that is not licensed to write motor-vehicle-accident insurance in Minnesota has no obligation under the Act to provide basic economic loss benefits to it insured injured in an accident in Minnesota.

Founders Insurance Company v. Yates Minnesota Court of Appeals 2-29-16 In this Minnesota Court of Appeals case interpreting Minnesota’s No-Fault Act, the Court found that an out-of-state insurer that is not licensed to write motor-vehicle-accident insurance in Minnesota has no obligation under the Act to provide basic economic loss benefits to it insured injured in an accident in Minnesota. Founders Insurance Company (“Founders”) insured Yates pursuant to an Illinois policy of insurance, issued to Yates while he was an Illinois resident.  Founders is licensed to write dram-shop insurance in Minnesota, but is not to write or issue motor-vehicle insurance in  … Read more

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United State District Court determined, as a matter of first impression, that the costs related to the creation of an e-discovery platform are not taxable

Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Services, v BendTec, Inc. United States District Court District of Minnesota 2-24-16 In this question of first impression in the Eighth Circuit regarding an unusual analysis of taxable costs and disbursements following the conclusion of a case, United States District Court Judge Michael J. Davis found that costs related to the creation and management of an e-discovery platform were not recoverable, but e-discovery costs that qualify as “exemplification fees” comparable to the cost of making copies are recoverable. After resolution of the underlying case in BendTec, Inc’s favor, BendTec moved for the recovery of more  … Read more

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Minnesota Supreme Court determines a Rule 68 offer which provides double-costs to a plaintiff is substantive not procedural when determining preemption between federal and state Rules.

Boyd v. BNSF Railway Company Minnesota Supreme Court January 27, 2016 A new Minnesota Supreme Court decision addresses the interplay between Minnesota Rule of Civil Procedure 68 and federal law in the FELA context.  Minnesota Rule of Civil Procedure 68 governs offers of settlement and judgment in Minnesota cases and provides a cost-shifting mechanism designed to encourage settlement of claims by imposing fees and costs upon a party who failed to accept a settlement offer or offer of judgment that is more favorable than the trial results.  Minnesota Rule 68 also has a federal counterpart but it is significantly different  … Read more