MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. After a family was seriously injured when a tire failed, they sued the tire manufacturer. The family settled with the company, but later discovered that the company had failed to hand over testing data during the discovery process. The victims and family then sought $2.7 million from the company to reimburse them for their legal fees. According to the Star Tribune, the Supreme Court sided with the tire company, stating that attorney’s fees are limited to the company’s misconduct directly related to injuries incurred in the accident. The court found that the company’s failure to reveal the data could not be directly connected to every legal expense the family incurred.
What does this mean for personal injury law in Minneapolis? A lower court in the case found that while attorney’s fees are generally limited to fees a person incurs due to a company or person’s negligence, the court found that in cases of egregious negligence, a court can award more. The Supreme Court’s decision basically reaffirms the principle that a court cannot grant an award for legal fees beyond those connected directly to the misconduct in question. According to the Hill, this was the reasoning the Supreme Court provided for siding with the tire maker.
What options then does a family or victim have in cases of extreme misconduct? In some cases, it may be appropriate to pursue punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are damages collected to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and other costs associated with an injury or accident. However, punitive damages are sought to punish a company or person for extreme negligence.
It appears that the family may have already settled with the tire company, meaning that they may no longer be able to pursue additional damages. The case highlights the importance of carefully considering your options before settling a case. Individuals sometimes rescind important rights when agreeing to a settlement. While settlement can be a good step to take in some instances, it may not be appropriate for all cases.
If you’ve been hurt in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino are personal injury attorneys who can fight to help you get the best possible settlement or recovery under the law. We can review your case, look at the evidence, and help you navigate the legal process. In some cases, it may be wise or appropriate to pursue an out-of-court settlement. In other instances, legal action is appropriate.
In the case of a defective product, it is important to consider the company’s culture and to investigate whether there may have been evidence of a given defect that the company may have known about. In recent news, we have seen cases where automakers or other companies were aware of defects for years and even decades before recalling products. If you have been hurt in a car accident or due to a defective product, visit https://www.martinmontilino.com/ to learn more about your rights and options under the law.