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Auto Accidents

Client vs. Defendant

On September 5, 2002, our firm's client was seriously injured in a crash involving another car and a semi. Our client received multiple injuries in her hip and legs resulting in numerous surgeries and extended time off work. The truck driver denied any responsibility but was later found to share the blame for the crash, and the truck driver's insurance company was required to pay close to $1 million to our client.

Client vs. Defendant

While riding in a car late one night with her husband driving, our client's car crashed into a mostly black cow that was in the middle of the road, causing our client to sustain serious personal injuries. The farmers who owned the cow denied that they were responsible for the cow getting out of the barn. The firm obtained $1 million for her injuries.

Client vs. Defendant

Our client was a toddler who lived in a rental house in North Minneapolis. The toddler got out of the house without being seen by his mother. He then slide on his belly over a two foot brick retaining wall, down the sidewalk below. In so doing, a brick fell from the wall and landed on the toddler's hand, severing his thumb. The landlord strongly contested liability, attempting to put the majority of the fault on the mother. The firm was able to convince the insurance company to pay the full amount of the liability insurance to the toddler. The firm then also assisted in setting up an annuity for the toddler that will pay him hundreds of thousands of dollars for the rest of his life.

Motorcycle Accident

Plaintiff vs. Defendant

Our firm represented an individual whose motorcycle stalled in a divided highway. In order to make it easy to pickup, he moved it into a turnaround area in the center median. While doing so, a vehicle slowed in heavy traffic, and a driver was not paying attention. In order to avoid the collision with the vehicle in front of him, the driver swerved to the right and hit our client who was standing in front of the motorcycle in the median. Our client received severe injuries to his knees and hip. Fortunately, our firm was able to demonstrate that the at-fault driver was going too fast, not paying attention and lost control of his vehicle which caused the injury. Multiple six-figure settlements were achieved. 

Hunting Accident

Client vs. Defendant

While hunting, Defendant shot a grouse in thick cover. Unfortunately, our client lost the sight in one of his eyes when one of the BB's shot by the Defendant struck him. Our firm persuaded the Defendant's homeowner's insurance company to pay our client the full amount of the Defendant's insurance coverage which was $300,000.

Snowmobile Accidents

Client vs. Defendant

An individual who had stopped on a path and his friend, who was some distance behind and not keeping a proper lookout, failed to notice this fact and ran into the snowmobile. This collision resulted in serious neck and back issues. We were able to recover a settlement to pay his medical bills, reimburse wage loss and additional damages from any ongoing issues.

Client vs. Defendant

Our firm represented a passenger on a snowmobile case. The driver, who had encouraged her to go out and have some fun, convinced her to go on the snowmobile as his passenger when she had never been on one before. On the way back from the outing, the driver sped over a retaining wall, causing the snowmobile to fly through the air and land extremely hard, crushing our client's vertebrae. Our firm was successful in getting the medical bills paid, which were not covered by insurance, and obtaining additional funds for her pain and suffering and loss of income.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Client vs. Defendant

Homeowners have a duty to use reasonable care to keep their sidewalks free from snow and ice to protect visitors from falling. Generally, the homeowners have insurance coverage to provide for injuries that do occur for people who slip and fall. In a case that our firm handled, the homeowner had a drain spout that he knew directed water right across his sidewalk. The homeowner also knew that melting snow during the day froze on his sidewalk during the night. On the day the client was hurt, there was ½" of fresh snow on the sidewalk that hid the presence of a sheet of ice. The homeowner knew that the client was coming and did nothing to make his sidewalk safe. Because this condition had existed for an extended period of time, he actually had a bag of salt near where the ice formed, but failed to put it down. The homeowner also failed to put any warning sign up indicating that there was a slippery condition. As our client approached the area, she was unaware of the ice and slipped, causing a severe fracture to her ankle. The homeowner's insurance company would not accept any responsibility for our client's injury, but after the lawsuit was commenced, our firm obtained an expert who proved that directing water onto the sidewalk from the downspout was unsafe. Before trial, our firm was able to prove that the homeowner had ample notice of the hazardous condition and failed to take action promptly knowing that the client would be visiting. As a result, a fair settlement was ultimately provided.

Client vs. Defendant

Our firm's client was shopping at Walmart on September 2, 2008, when she fell on a pool of water that had been accumulating on the floor from a leaky roof. She had just had a right hip replacement about one month prior to falling. Upon falling, she felt immediate and intense pain to her right hip. By Walmart's own admission, there were no warning signs of a wet floor, and personnel acknowledged that when the floor is wet, it is slippery. After filing the lawsuit, the firm was able to demonstrate through Walmart's video of the store that a number of personnel had traversed the area where the water had accumulated. We were able to prove that this was an ongoing problem. Ultimately, Walmart agreed to pay fair compensation to our client.

Title Insurance

One of our firm's clients wanted to construct a deck on the back of his house. When he started the process, he received notice from a pipeline company to halt construction because the deck was over a pipeline easement. After further investigation, the homeowner found that two-thirds of the house was within the pipeline easement and that the pipeline company had a right to force him to tear the house down if they needed to do maintenance work or install another pipeline. The title company was contacted and refused to offer anything. In fact, it was difficult to even get them to respond. After several months, our firm commenced a lawsuit as a result of the title company's unwillingness to acknowledge that it had failed to find the existence of the pipeline easements. As the matter approached trial, experts were obtained to value the loss. Evidence was provided that based upon the fact that two-thirds of the house was located on the pipeline easement, it would be very difficult to sell the house, and other than the value of the lot, it had little value. Ultimately, an arbitrator awarded approximately $170,000 to the homeowner representing the decline in the value of the property.

Fire Loss

We have represented a number of businesses where after a fire, the insurance company failed to fully compensate for lost profits and extra expense that were a direct result of the fire. After retaining an expert accountant to determine the amount of business loss and extra expense, the firm was able to demonstrate that the extent of the damages was much greater than the insurance company was willing to or had paid. In the cases handled, the insurance company either voluntarily paid a significantly greater sum after the testimony was heard, or the arbitrator awarded an amount more than fifty percent of what was offered.

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Oftentimes when parents get older, they look to a child or friend to help them with their financial affairs. They put bank accounts into joint accounts with the person who helps them. The question is asked upon death whether the joint account holder is the owner or whether this person was named for purposes of convenience, making the funds an estate asset. In a recent case before the Supreme Court, a Decedent had three daughters and a number of step children. Before his death, he set up an account with one of the daughters who he had a special relationship with. Upon his death, the joint account where he had designated the daughter as a survivor resulted in her making a claim for the funds. Her siblings made a claim that the joint tenancy was invalid because the Will said everything was to be divided equally. The Minnesota Supreme Court held in favor of our client who received the entire account that was jointly owned.

Business Disputes

Our firm has represented many people who want to dissolve or end their relationship with another partner or shareholder. These separations can be very contentious. On occasion, they result in formal litigation. Essentially, a business separation between partners is like a divorce. There are lots of issues that have to be considered, including how the assets and liabilities are going to be distributed, tax ramifications, etc. Emotionally, these separations can be very challenging. Through our experience, our firm can successfully guide you through these tough situations.

Mechanic's Liens

Mechanic's liens allow for the collection for contractors and others who improve real property where the owner refuses to pay. One of the few cases that provide not only recovery for the amount of the claim, but also potential recovery for attorneys' fees is mechanic's liens. Over the years, our firm has successfully handled the collection for improvements to property. There are strict time requirements for filings. Certain cases require prelien notices that are delivered to the property owner. Also, there is a requirement that within 120 days of the last work, a mechanic's lien statement be recorded and delivered. Missing any of these strict requirements can result in a loss of the ability to collect these additional damages.

Criminal Cases

Our firm has handled hundreds of DWI's, traffic offenses, felonies and other criminal matters through the years. Our firm has obtained many dismissals and acquittals tried to a jury. In a recent case, our firm's client was charged with felony assault and faced a minimum of one year in prison. He was involved in an auto collision while he was speeding to what he believed was to rescue his daughter from a former boyfriend. The boyfriend's presence near the daughter's residence was unexplained, and there was a restraining order against him in effect. When the client rushed to the scene, the boyfriend became aware that his presence was noticed and sped out the driveway. Our client and the boyfriend collided at the entrance of the apartment building. The boyfriend, who had just gotten out of prison, claimed that our client had physically stopped his vehicle, saw who it was and then rammed into him. Our firm was able to successfully demonstrate that the skid marks present were not acceleration marks, and our client was acquitted of the serious felony charges.

In another case, our firm was able to successfully dismiss the charge of a DWI. In this case, our client had been involved in a motorcycle accident while under the influence of alcohol. The ambulance came and the police followed him to the hospital. The officers waited too long to get the testing. Under the statute, the testing had to be completed within two hours of the driving conduct. The officers never determined the time that the driving occurred, and the court dismissed the DWI.

Our firm represented a number of deer hunters who were charged with baiting. After hearing, we were able to prove to the court that the testimony of the conservation officers was inconsistent with each other and themselves. As a result, the defendants' charges were dismissed. In addition, they received back their confiscated guns

Professional Negligence

Our firm represented a client who was a vibrant, healthy wife and mother of an 8-month old child. She worked full-time and maintained her household. Suddenly, she fainted, fell and impacted the floor on the back of her neck, crushing three vertebrae into her spinal cord, instantly paralyzing her. The fall resulted from a Defendant's failure to train and supervise independent contractors of well-known safety procedures for blood draws. The firm obtained a seven-figure settlement for the injured woman.

A business in northern Minnesota purchased an insurance policy that included an endorsement that provided additional coverage. Following a disastrous loss, the carrier claimed that the policy terms were met. The agent who wrote the policy had assured that my client was adequately covered when he was not. As a result, we were able to receive a quarter of a million dollar settlement to assist in covering the loss.