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The POWER 30: Scott Wilson

Minnesota Lawyer//June 22, 2023

Scott Wilson

Scott Wilson, Scott Wilson Law Firm

The POWER 30: Scott Wilson

Minnesota Lawyer//June 22, 2023

Scott Wilson Law Firm

The practice of personal injury law changed in 2018 and 2019, with three Minnesota Supreme Court decisions appealed by Minneapolis attorney Scott Wilson.

One was Fish v. Ramler Trucking, et al., in November 2019. It affirmed the long-standing but still debated principle that a third-party tortfeasor’s liability to an injured employee for a workplace injury is not reduced by the employer’s fault because an employer and a tortfeasor are not severally liable for a workplace injury and therefore Minn. Stat. § 604.02, subd. 1 does not allocate damages. Wilson said that Fish was an “island in the sea of tort reform” and appropriately so given that the plaintiffs tend to be severely injured.

In October 2019, the court said in Getz v. Peace that payments made to Medical Assistance recipients were not a collateral source and should not be deducted from jury awards because they were payments pursuant to the Social Security Act and thus excepted by Minn. Stat. §548.251, subd. 1 (2). The plaintiff was charged $224,998 for past medical expenses but the providers were paid only $45,979.

That case was another “island” granting a plaintiff a full recovery, Wilson said. “I don’t feel bad about standing on these islands with my client.”

The third case, Roller-Dick v. CentraCare Health System and SFM Mutual Companies,

said that a fall at work, originating on the employer’s premises, is causally connected to the employment. The court departed from a more tort-based view of causation articulated in 2013 in Dykhoff v. Xcel Energy.

Wilson’s appellate practice is the second act of his career, following 20 years of trial practice in personal injury. When juggling all the personal injury plates in the air at the same time became too difficult, Wilson turned to appellate work. Soon word spread that he could write effective briefs. He’s found a way to have a satisfying career that serves others.  “I am a civil appellate lawyer whose wheelhouse is plaintiff-side personal injury,” he said.

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