The Minnesota Supreme Court recently sided with the arguments of Lind, Jensen, Sullivan & Peterson and denied further review of a summary judgment ruling in favor of a regional mental health center.
Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center (HVMHC) had been sued for negligence and other claims arising from the death of a woman in 2013. The decedent’s next of kin argued that HVMHC breached a duty to the decedent and failed to provide services that may have avoided her death. Attorneys Tim Jung and Matt Sloneker argued to Judge Mary C. Leahy of the Winona County District Court that HVMHC did not owe a duty and therefore could not be held negligent. Judge Leahy agreed and granted summary judgment for HVMHC, dismissing the next of kin’s claims in their entirety.
On appeal, attorneys Bill Davidson and Grant Goerke successfully argued to the Minnesota Court of Appeals that Judge Leahy’s ruling was proper. The appellate court decided in an unpublished_opinion that HVMHC did not owe a duty based on tort, contract, or statute and affirmed Judge Leahy’s decision for HVMHC.
The next of kin sought further review, and Davidson and Goerke opposed that request on behalf of HVMHC. The Minnesota Supreme Court agreed that further review was unnecessary, ending nearly three years of litigation. Order – PFR – Deny