Supreme Court Opinions


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FILED Wednesday, November 30, 2022


A21-1745        C. Jeremy Lagasse, Relator, vs. Larry Horton, Respondent, and Aspen Waste Systems, Inc., and EMC Insurance Company, Respondents.
                         Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals.
             1.         For purposes of allowable fees for legal services under the Workers’ Compensation Act, an answer to a workers’ compensation claim petition can serve as the basis for a genuine dispute under Minn. Stat. § 176.081, subd. 1(c) (2020), when it creates an authentic controversy between parties and the employer or insurer had sufficient time and information to take a position on liability.
             2.         The applicable standard when we review whether the WCCA properly substituted its own finding for a conflicting finding of the compensation judge is if there is any evidence in the record that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support the compensation judge’s finding.  
             3.         The Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals erred in substituting its findings for those of the compensation judge because the compensation judge’s findings that a genuine dispute existed entitling the attorney to contingent attorney fees under Minn. Stat. § 176.081, subd. 1(c), were supported by substantial evidence.
             4.         The standard to award additional fees under Minn. Stat. § 176.081, subd. 7 (2020), is distinct from the standard to award contingency fees under Minn. Stat. § 176.081, subd. 1(c), and whether to award fees under each subdivision must therefore be analyzed separately.
             Reversed and remanded to the compensation judge. Justice Anne K. McKeig.
             Concurring, Justice G. Barry Anderson.



A22-0266        Sheila Anderson, Relator, vs. ValueVision Media, Inc., and Chubb Group Insurance Co., Respondents.
                         Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals.
             Affirmed without opinion. Justice Paul C. Thissen.
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FILED Wednesday, November 23, 2022

(Petitioner indicated in Italic Type)

1.          State of Minnesota vs. Raeleen Kay Johnson – A21-1360
Issue:  Minnesota Statutes section 609.505, subdivision 1 prohibits falsely reporting a crime and applies to “[w]hoever informs a law enforcement officer that a crime has been committed.”  In order to prove the venue element of this crime, must the State prove that the defendant was in the county of charging when she made the false report?
2.          In the Matter of the Surveillance and Integrity Review (SIRS) Appeal by Nobility Home Health Care, Inc. – A21-1477
Issues:  1) Can the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) ignore statutory limits on the sanctions that can be imposed on home health care centers for paperwork errors?  2) Can DHS adopt an agency rule defining “abuse” so broadly as to contravene its ordinary usage and render statutory limitations meaningless?  3) Can DHS exercise its statutory discretion to sanction home health providers in violation of its policy without offering any explanation or factual support for its decision?
Granted in part
3.          James Zika vs. Elder Care of Minnesota, Inc., et al., Naree Weaver – A21-1710
Issue:  Is a court-appointed guardian subject to liability for their own acts of negligence and not immune from such liability, even when considering Minn. Stat. § 524.5-313(c)(2)?
4.          Ross R. Lundstrom, et al. vs. Township of Florence, State of Minnesota – A21-1714
Granted and stayed pending final disposition in In re Application of Moratzka, Nos. A21-0829, A21-0832.

5.         State of Minnesota vs. George Robert Lyons – A22-0243
6.         Andrew Crisman, et al. vs. Hillman Township, Minnesota – A22-0123
7.         State of Minnesota vs. Vincent Lee Kelley – A21-1000
8.         County of Dakota, and Ayan Mohamoud Omar vs. Yasin Mohamad Abbas – A22-1127
9.         Lannon Lavar Burdunice vs. State of Minnesota – A22-0076
10.       State of Minnesota vs. Ashley Monique Swart – A21-1325
11.       State of Minnesota vs. Tanisha Amiea Dunn – A22-0272
12.       In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of: Chester Lee Grauberger – A22-0643
13.       Kathryn Marie Larson, On behalf of Minor Child vs. Keith Norman Marohn – A22-0092
14.       Orlando Omar Castillo vs. State of Minnesota – A22-0335
15.       State of Minnesota vs. Joseph Ndichu Kinyanjui – A21-1626
16.       State of Minnesota vs. Michael Donald Caya – A22-0112
17.       Weston Palmer Harbison vs. State of Minnesota – A22-0056
18.       John Thomas Owen vs. State of Minnesota – A22-0201
19.       Health Care Service Corporation, et al. vs. Albertsons Companies, LLC, et al., SuperValu, Inc. – A22-0219
20.       State of Minnesota vs. Bjorn Bolton Iverson – A21-1341
21.       State of Minnesota vs. Hassan Abdi – A21-1443
22.       Emem Ufot Udoh vs. State of Minnesota – A22-0481
23.       State of Minnesota vs. David Lee Williams, Jr. – A21-1629
24.       State of Minnesota vs. Remona Lysa Brown – A21-1221
25.       In the Matter of the Welfare of the Child of: P.D.J., Parent –A22-0501