Minnesota Medical Malpractice

Legal Outline

A note about expert affidavit caselaw

The substance of 145.682 affidavits has been the subject of a number of appeals, but there are a few procedural issues under Minnesota law that prevent us from truly understanding what these affidavits need to say to be sufficient.

First, Minnesota law rarely allows for interlocutory appeals, so the only decisions that give rise to appellate review are dismissals. In other words, we rarely see an appeal of a trial court’s determination that the 145.682 affidavit was sufficient.

Second, unlike motions for summary judgment, these determinations are reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Anderson v. Rengacherry. So even where an appellate court might have a difference of opinion as to the sufficiency of the disclosure, the deference built into the standard rarely results in a reversal.

As a result of this, since the affidavit requirement started in 1986, the bar for plaintiffs to comply with this provision has only moved higher over the years.

Demgen v. Fairview Hosp., 621 N.W.2d 259 (Minn. App. 2001), review denied (Minn. Apr. 17, 2001) is noteworthy for being a case where a dismissal under section 145.682 was reversed. Schirmer v. Duluth Clinic, Ltd., A15-1753 (Minn. App. 2016) is another unpublished opinion where the court of appeals reversed the lower court – even under this highly deferential standard.