Lawyers say tort reform bill would result in fewer cases
Plaintiffs' lawyers say a sweeping federal tort reform bill is intended to drive lawyers away from helping injured clients. The bill, which would cap non-economic damages in a broad range of lawsuits at $250,000, severely limit punitive damages and pre-empt many state laws, has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee.
Minnesota law permits private attorneys to bring claims against those who engage in deceptive trade practices.
In 2009, the Minnesota Department of Commerce brought 438 enforcement actions. These actions were designed to protect Minnesota citizens and resources from financial fraud to adulteration of food to poaching. These enforcement activities involved criminal and civil actions, cease and desist orders, and license revocations..
Denny's settled a slip-and-fall case, but the source of trouble at a Coon Rapids restaurant remains.
Much has changed since Barbara Anderson slipped on some ice two years ago in the parking lot of a Denny's restaurant in Coon Rapids. But one thing is the same: The downspout from the roof of the Denny's still empties into the handicapped parking space, creating what one safety consultant called a "freezing lake effect" that left Anderson flat on her back and screaming in pain.
SiebenCarey partner Paul F. Schweiger has been recognized by Minnesota Lawyer as a 2010 "Attorney of the Year." This award is reserved for a select group of 25 attorneys from throughout the state who have distinguished themselves through exemplary work. Criteria for selection include leadership in the profession, procuring a successful result in an important case and public service.
More proof that driving and dialing is never a good idea.
In 2007, a bread delivery truck driver who was on his cell phone crashed into the vehicle of Michael Wills, who was on his way to work in Wabasha, Minn. Wills suffered a brain injury and shoulder and neck and knee injuries, and has since had memory problems.
Personal injury lawyer Harry Sieben took the case to trial and received a verdict of $1.2 million.
"The family members have legitimate questions and we will work to provide the family with answers."
The husband of a woman killed when a semi-trailer struck her vehicle on I-35W in Lakeville last May has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the trucking company.
Twin Cities attorney Jim Carey filed suit in Dakota County Wednesday on behalf of Todd Brinkhaus, the husband of Pamela Brinkhaus, who was killed when her car was rear-ended by the truck owned and operated by Reinhart Foodservice.
Brinkhaus was traveling behind another truck loaded with 17 million bees when the chain reaction crash was allegedly triggered by the Rinehart semi. Her car, and one driven by a pregnant woman were crushed between the two trucks.
By settling, the county admitted no fault.
A multimillion-dollar deal between Ramsey County and those exposed to tuberculosis in the county workhouse in 2008 was approved by a federal judge. The settlement covers inmates who were at the workhouse between April 17 and June 9, 2008. After the infected inmates came forward, the county sought people who were there during that time and offered to test them for the disease.
"We think the settlement was fair and, more importantly, hope it sends a message."
In 2007, Kirstie Jones decided to go back to school. At that time she was the only female enrolled in Mesabi Range's millwright program. She says other students - two in particular - started harassing her from day one. She ended up quitting the program and moving back to her hometown of Hoyt Lakes. Then she got in contact with personal injury attorney Harry Sieben.
Claims of elder abuse at the Good Samaritan Society nursing home in Albert Lea continue to make their way through the court systems.
A civil lawsuit was filed in South Dakota in June against nursing home parent company Good Samaritan Society. It is the third civil lawsuit filed by families of the nursing home residents who were abused. The abuse, by six young women nursing assistants, allegedly occurred between January and May 2008.
Another lawsuit has been filed in the Albert Lea elder abuse case against the Good Samaritan Society. This civil case has been filed in Sioux Falls, which is the headquarters for the nursing home chain.
The lawsuit seeks damages from Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, saying its supervisors in Albert Lea were negligent in failing to provide proper supervision of four teenage certified nursing assistants who allegedly abused patients emotionally, sexually and physically in the first half of 2008.
Jim Carey, of the SiebenCarey law firm said the situation was not just the case of one employee who on one or two occasions engaged in this type of behavior.
Suing the servers
One of the most powerful weapons against bars that serve drunken patrons is the so-called dram shop act, a state law that allows someone to sue a bar or other business for illegally serving alcohol to someone who later dies or suffers an injury.
Attorneys said dram-shop cases rarely go to juries. The bulk of claims are settled out of court, with insurance lawyers negotiating payouts for bars -- almost always on the condition of confidentiality.
"It's off-the-chart wrong."
The operator of nursing home in Albert Lea and four fired nursing assistants were sued over allegations that the aides groped, spanked and spat on several nursing home residents suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
The lawsuit claims the nursing assistants spent four months abusing residents at Good Samaritan Society. The conduct of the four defendants "was so extreme and outrageous that it passed the boundaries of decency."
There is a lesson in this case for anyone who uses a drive thru. As you pull out your wallet or purse do you have the car in drive or park?
A family is stunned by the sudden death of a loved one in a car crash. It happened of all places at a drive thru for a fast food restaurant. Was it a freak accident or something else? This is one of those stories that sounds more like an episode from a television crime drama. It begins with a mysterious death then leads to all kinds of wild accusations. Eventually science unravels the truth.
By all accounts, Susan Holden has found success.
As an attorney, she's achieved just about every distinction and honor available in the profession including serving as President of both the Minnesota State Bar and Hennepin County Bar. She's a partner in her law firm, SiebenCarey, where she specializes in personal injury, product liability, dram shop liability, auto accident and insurance litigation.
Trial attorney Susan Holden was honored with the Fidelis Apparitor Award at the College of Saint Benedict.
The award, which means "faithful servant" in Latin, is given to individuals who have been good and faithful servants of the law. Holden is a partner in the SiebenCarey law firm and she has years of experience as an advocate representing injured people. Holden is receiving this award because of her tireless commitment to her community.
This week, the families of the four young adults who died when a freight train slammed into their car, were awarded $4 million when a Washington County judge ruled the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company tried to cover up evidence during the trial.
In that trial, which ended a year ago, a jury awarded the families $21 million and placed 90 percent of the blame for the crash on Burlington Northern. The additional $4 million is a sanction against the railroad for what Judge Ellen Maas called "staggering" misconduct during the trial.
William Bongard represented the family of one of the four teens killed in a train crossing accident in 2003.
When the families and their attorneys took the case to trial, a jury awarded them $21.6 million in damages. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation appealed that decision and refused to pay.
Then the attorneys for the families filed sanctions against the railroad, to punish them for their attempts to cover up their responsibility for the accident; because the crossing gate wasn't working properly and because they destroyed evidence, fabricated evidence, interfered with the investigation and lied.
"She's made a miraculous recovery but she still has risks of future complications."
The parents of an 11-year-old Minnesota girl who spent more than a month in the hospital because of an illness caused by an E. coli-contaminated hamburger have reached a settlement with Cargill, Paul Downes, the family's attorney said.
The girl became ill in 2007 after eating contaminated hamburger supplied by Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation. The hamburger meat was linked to an E. coli outbreak that led Cargill to voluntarily recall about 845,000 pounds of frozen ground beef patties.
News Makers - Paul Schweiger
The law firm of SiebenCarey is proud to announce that attorney Paul F. Schweiger, a member of the Duluth office, has been honored with a "Best Lawyers in America" distinction. He was voted one of the best in Medical Malpractice Law and Personal Injury Litigation.
Paul is one of the leading wrongful death lawyers and personal injury attorneys and in cases involving auto accidents, medical malpractice, catastrophic personal injury and product liability.
Sieben initiated the “Know Your Rights” campaigns that brought personal injury law to the people.
Some lawyers have cases that have changed the law, and some are able to affect the political climate. Harry Sieben has done both, and in spades. And he has done something else: he changed the very way the business of law is conducted in Minnesota, all while building one of the state’s premier law firms, SiebenCarey.