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December 21, 2007

Out-of-State Lawsuits Flood Minnesota Courts

A recent ABA article, "Lawsuits Travel Up North," by Mark Hansen points out that Minnesota has become a haven for products liability lawsuits arising in other jurisdictions.  Minnesota has longer statutes of limitations for negligence (six years) and strict liability (four years) actions than most jurisdictions, but following the repeal of Minnesota's borrowing statute, that time-barred claims in those jurisdictions still have life in Minnesota, which pursuant to its conflict of laws rules treats statutes of limitations as procedural rather than substantive rules.  The result, as Hansen notes, has been a flood of products liability actions filed in state and federal courts in the land of ten thousand lakes against out-of-state pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers.  Scott Smith, a Minneapolis defense lawyer who was interviewed for the article, said that out-of-state plaintiffs comprise about 93 percent of drug and medical device cases filed in Minnesota since May of 2004, when state and federal court filings went online.


December 21, 2007 | Permalink


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