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What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

When another party is to blame for your relative’s passing, we want to help you get justice and fair compensation for your loss.

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A wrongful death claim arises when a person’s passing results from another party’s careless, reckless, or malicious conduct, or in some cases, another party’s failure to act when they had a duty to do so.

Under Minnesota State Statute 573.02, when someone’s death is caused by a wrongful act or omission of any other person or business, and the victim would have had the right to file a personal injury lawsuit if they had lived, then an action can be brought for compensation.

If you recently lost a loved one due to food poisoning, a car crash, or some other incident, and you believe someone else was at fault, you should speak with a wrongful death attorney in Minnesota right away. We will carefully review your circumstances and advise you and your family of your right to pursue a financial recovery.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Minnesota law says an appointed trustee can file the wrongful death lawsuit. Typically, the surviving spouse or another close relative files a petition in court to be appointed as a trustee to begin or continue a wrongful death action.

In most cases, a surviving spouse can be appointed as trustee. If the decedent passed away and left behind a spouse and no children, then the spouse or a parent can seek the appointment. If the decedent left behind a spouse and children, then the spouse or any of the children can be appointed.

If the decedent did not leave behind a surviving spouse but had children, then a surviving child can be appointed. If the decedent did not leave behind a spouse or children, then a parent can be appointed.

If the decedent does not have a surviving spouse, child, or parent, then a sibling can become trustee.

When you are unsure of whether you can file a wrongful death lawsuit regarding the death of a loved one, you should speak with a Minnesota wrongful death attorney. We understand the scenarios above are not the only possible situations. We will review the law and your relation to the decedent and advise you of your options.

Notable Recoveries

$10 million

Seven infants were sickened after consuming a contaminated food product marketed to infants

$6.5 million

Verdict on behalf of a little boy who contracted a severe Salmonella infection from chicken

$7.55 million

Verdict on behalf of a little girl who contracted E. coli at a petting zoo

$2.25 million

E. coli infections contracted from a major fast food chain

$45 million

An over-the-counter medication caused severe kidney damage to multiple users

$3.4 million

A pregnant woman contracted a Listeria infection from contaminated fruit and passed the infection to her child

$3 million

Multistate Cyclospora outbreaks


A couple contracted Salmonella from a restaurant


A pedestrian was struck by a left-turning car, fracturing her tibia


A semi-truck rear-ended a motorcyclist causing a collapsed lung, rib fractures and road rash

Types of Wrongful Death Claims We Handle

Some of the most common cases our Minneapolis wrongful death attorneys handle involve:

Food Poisoning

We can represent you and your family against a food producer or seller regarding a fatal E. coli, Hepatitis A, Listeria, Salmonella, or Cyclospora infection. If your loved one passed away due to a severe infectioncontracted from contaminated food, call our wrongful death lawyers right away.


Not all bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections are derived from contaminated food or water. We are here to help if your loved one contracted a deadly condition from exposure to infected animals or in some other manner.

Defective & Dangerous Products

We handle Minnesota product liability claims in addition to food poisoning cases. If your loved one suffered fatal injuries because of a defective product, contact our wrongful death law firm as soon as possible. You may have the right to file a lawsuit based on negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty.

Auto Accidents

One of the most common causes of wrongful death cases is fatal collisions. We handle all types of car crashes that occur in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding area.

Dangerous Property Accidents

We also handle premises liability claims, such as slip and falls, falls from heights, being struck by objects, and others. If your loved one passed away because of an accident on someone else’s property, call us to discuss whether the property owner may be liable.

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Compensation for Wrongful Death in Minnesota

Under Minnesota’s wrongful death law, compensation is meant to be a fair and just amount for you and your relative’s loss. In other words, your economic losses, which may include medical expenses, burial and funeral expenses, the loss of your loved one’s income and employment benefits, and other related expenses. You can also pursue compensation for a service your relative provided that you will now need to purchase, such as care for minor children or elderly parents. These are sometimes referred to as special damages.

Another type of compensation Minnesota courts allow in wrongful death claims are punitive damages. Punitive damages can be awarded when there is clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault party’s actions showed a deliberate disregard for the rights and safety of others.

In other words, if our wrongful death attorneys can prove that the other party was reckless or acted maliciously, you can pursue punitive damages in addition to compensation for your economic losses.

Who Can Receive Wrongful Death Compensation in Minnesota?

Compensation from a wrongful death claim is for the exclusive benefit of a surviving spouse and next of kin.

The amount you will receive depends on your specific financial losses and relationship to the deceased. A surviving spouse is likely to recover the greatest portion due to the loss of their husband or wife’s income and employment benefits. Children may receive compensation due to the loss of their parent’s financial support. Also, other relatives who were dependent on the decedent may recover compensation for their losses.

If you obtain wrongful death compensation through a court award, the judge or jury will determine the distribution among next of kin. You and your family can submit a request to the court regarding how you would like the compensation to be allocated.

However, if you and your family receive a wrongful death settlement from an insurer, then it is up to you and your relatives to agree on how the compensation should be divided. Our Minnesota wrongful death attorneys can work closely with you and your relatives to ensure the proceeds are distributed fairly.

The Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims

If your loved one’s death was the result of medical negligence, the statute of limitations in Minnesota is three years. Any other type of negligence that led to your relative’s passing also has a three-year statute of limitations.

Various exceptions can give you more time to file a lawsuit, but the action must be commenced within six years of the date of the negligent act.

If your loved one’s death was the result of intentional criminal conduct, there is no statute of limitations. Following the murder of your loved one, you can bring a wrongful death claim at any time.

Let Our Minneapolis Wrongful Death Lawyers Help

After experiencing an unexpected loss of a relative, you may wonder about your family’s legal rights and options. We are here to explain Minnesota’s wrongful death law and how it affects you and your family. To talk with a wrongful death lawyer at OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers, call us at 888.828.7087 or submit your information online.

We offer 100% free, initial consultations, and there are never any fees unless you recover compensation.