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So if a member of your family is injured in a wrongful death action, the statute provides for the measure of damages. It’s particular language. I believe it has to do with the loss of the society, the aid, comfort, society, companionship of that person. Your grief, your sorrow, is not compensable. The pain and suffering that that person suffered is not compensable.
Minnesota differs from practically every state in the Union on that, and it’s a real error, and the legislature tried to correct it in 2014 and didn’t. I hope they will in the future, because if your spouse is injured, whether it’s medical damages or a car accident, and they sit and suffer – I had a wrongful death case where this guy was prescribed the wrong medicine and it resulted in an open wound in his body, and they tried to cure him for months – months. It happened in July. I think he died on Christmas Day. That man and his family went through just Hades. He was in pain all the time; he was up and down as far as prognosis all the time. He eventually died on Christmas Day, leaving a loving wife and two little children, and there was no compensation for his pain and suffering.
We got good money. [Laughs] We got good money for him anyway because he was a guy in his mid-30’s making decent money and he had a real claim with real solid family, but Minnesota’s Wrongful Death Act has that omission that we hope will change in future legislature.
Minneapolis personal injury lawyer Bill Tilton explains how a surviving spouse can receive money in a wrongful death lawsuit.