Medical Malpractice Law in Minnesota

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Medical malpractice law in Minnesota has an extremely strict statute of limitations for filing actions, at two years with very few exceptions, and does not cap non-economic damages. See the table below for a rundown of Minnesota medical malpractice provisions.

This information is a general guideline, consult with a medical malpractice attorney for case specific specific information.

Minnesota Medical Malpractice Law

Minnesota State Tort Law
Statute of Limitations Four years from injury or end of treatment.
Damage Award Limits No limitations on damages
Joint Defendant Liability Defendants are proportionally liable for damages based on percentage of fault determined by court
Expert Witness An affidavit must be filed by the claimant stating that an expert has been consulted
Attorney Fees Minnesota has no limits on attorneys fees

Minnesota's Statutes of Limitations

All liability claims against health care providers in Minnesota, regardless of the nature of the injury or basis of the action, must be brought within two years of when the cause of the action accrued. There are few exceptions although infants are allowed seven years from the date of the occurrence.

Contributory or Comparative Negligence in Minnesota

Minnesota follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence which bars the action if his or her fault exceeds the combined fault of all defendants, and diminishes his or her claim according to his or her own negligence.

Joint and Several Liability in Minnesota

Minnesota uses modified joint and several liability in that generally a person whose fault is fifteen percent or less is liable for a percentage no greater than four times his percentage of fault. If one of the defendants is uncollectible, the court will reallocate that defendant's share to the others. Contribution in Minnesota is in proportion to percentage of fault.

Vicarious Liability in Minnesota

Minnesota does not allow ostensible or apparent agency to hold a hospital liable for the negligent acts of its non-employee physicians. A hospital can only be held vicariously liable for the acts of employees.

Expert Testimony in Minnesota

In Minnesota, an affidavit of expert testimony supporting the action must be filed within 180 days of filing the action itself.

Damage Caps in Minnesota

Minnesota does not cap the damages that can be awarded in a medical malpractice case, and is one of the few states with no such cap.

Immunities in Minnesota

Minnesota waived immunity from liability for acts conducted by state employees acting within the scope of their employment. The state and its agencies are immune from liability when the loss results from the usual care and treatment where reasonable means were used to provide for the patient's care. The state is immune from liability for punitive damages, and its liability for compensatory damages is limited to  $300,000 per claim and $1,000,000 per occurrence for claims arising on or after January 1, 2000.

Arbitration in Minnesota

Minnesota does not specifically stipulate that medical malpractice cases be arbitrated prior to litigation. However, the state courts are authorized to establish a system of mandatory, non-binding arbitration to assist in disposing of any controversy that could lead to civil litigation.

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