Minnesota’s medical malpractice law includes a strict 2-year statute of limitations on filing medical malpractice and negligence claims and provides for few exceptions. According to state law, all liability claims must be brought within 2 years of the injury or end of treatment; however, cases involving infants allow 7 years.
Joint Defendant Liability
Defendants in this state are considered proportionally liable for damages based on the degree to which they were at fault. In simpler terms, more than one defendant can be named in the state of Minnesota regarding medical malpractice and negligence claims. Conversely, plaintiffs can also be named as being liable.
If the defendant or defendants are together less liable than the plaintiff, the court bars the legal action. People who are less than 16% at fault cannot be liable for more than 4 times the percentage for which they were at fault.
The state also bars vicarious liability, which can hold a hospital responsible for the negligent acts of non-employee physicians. Doctors and hospitals can, however, be held responsible for the actions of their direct employees. For testimony to be considered expert, an affidavit must be filed within 180 days of the legal action filing.
Minnesota does not cap damage awards in medical malpractice suites and is one of the few states that does not have such a cap. It also does not provide liability for state employees, though the state is considered immune from punitive damages and liable only for compensatory damages up to $300,000 per claim and $1,000,000 per occurrence. The state does not strictly require arbitration prior to litigation.
However, the courts are allowed to establish a system of non-binding arbitration in controversial situations, especially when they could lead to lawsuits later.
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