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Minnesota as the new Madison County



I appreciated this ABA Journal article on the rise of Minnesota as a products liability (and general torts) magnet.

Minnesota has one of the nation's longest statutes of limitations (6 years for negligence suits and 4 years for "strict liability" products suits). In addition, only Minnesota allows an out-of-state resident to pursue an out-of-state defendant (who need only be authorized to do business in the state) even if the plaintiff's suit would b time-barred in the plaintiff's own state. The combination of these two rules has made it possible for plaintiffs to revive "dead" suits by suing in federal court in Minnesota -- about 93% of drug and medical device cases filed in the state since 2004 have been filed by out-of-state plaintiffs, the overwhelming majority of which would have been time-barred not only in the plaintiff's home state but in every other state.

Minnesota's unique configuration of rules (arrived at somewhat by mistake, as the article demonstrates) makes a mockery of federalism.

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Isaac Gorodetski
Project Manager,
Center for Legal Policy at the
Manhattan Institute
igorodetski@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Press Officer,
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.