The Fault Concept in Personal Injury Cases in Minnesota: Implications for Tort Reform

17 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2010

Date Written: 1987

Abstract

Legislative tort reform proposals have attempted to restore what is perceived to be an imbalance in the tort-litigation system by limiting tort recoveries. One of the motivating factors behind tort reform proposals is a concern that tort law has deviated from a fault-based system of liability. It is this concern over the structure of the fault system in Minnesota that is the subject of this Article. This Article examines Minnesota Supreme Court opinions of the 20th Century to determine whether the court's decisions deviated from a fault-based system of liability. The focus is on change, accepted and rejected. The purpose is to determine whether the claim that the tort system is based on a primary judicial desire to compensate victims of accidents can be established, and what implications the court's decisions might have for determining what type of tort reform legislation should be enacted, at least insofar as claims are made that the deep-pocket or social insurance principle justifies change.

Keywords: Minnesota torts, Minnesota tort reform, liability insurance, products liability, negligence, civil damages act, dram shop act, obvious danger, fault, personal injury

Suggested Citation

Steenson, Michael K., The Fault Concept in Personal Injury Cases in Minnesota: Implications for Tort Reform (1987). William Mitchell Law Review, Vol. 13, No. 2, 1987, William Mitchell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1987-02, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1564365

Michael K. Steenson (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-3076
United States
651-290-6366 (Phone)
651-290-6406 (Fax)

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