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    1. Minnesota Attorney Opts Against Charging Low Level Offenses Amid Pandemic

      Minnesota Attorney Opts Against Charging Low Level Offenses Amid Pandemic

      Essentially, it looks like a lot of cases languishing without any resolution in sight. That’s untenable, Choi said, as defendants have a constitutional right to a speedy trial. As a solution, the Ramsey County attorney’s office staff started informally opting not to charge some lower-level offenses.

      The practice became formalized last month. Under a temporary policy — set to end when the pandemic does — fifth-degree drug possession won’t be charged. While there will be room for exceptions, prosecutors won’t charge such offenses and will strongly consider dismissing older fifth-degree possession cases that have been idle in the system for months.

      The policy will allow the court system to better handle the mounting backlog of cases created by ...

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    2. Catholic Diocese to Pay $22.5M Settlement to Sexual Abuse Victims

      Catholic Diocese to Pay $22.5M Settlement to Sexual Abuse Victims

      The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint Cloud in Minnesota will pay sexual abuse victims $22.5 million and file for bankruptcy, according to a settlement agreement.

      Some 70 people say they were abused by 41 priests in cases that date back to the 1950s. If the bankruptcy plan is approved, the diocese will become the fifth of Minnesota’s six dioceses to settle its clergy abuse claims and declare bankruptcy.

      Attorney Jeff Anderson negotiated the settlement agreement and terms were announced Tuesday. He said it gives validation to the victims, some of whom Anderson first represented in lawsuits filed in the 1980s, the Star Tribune reported.

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    3. Minnesota Pain Center, Walgreens Responsible for Ham Lake Man’s Opioid Addiction

      Minnesota Pain Center, Walgreens Responsible for Ham Lake Man’s Opioid Addiction

      A Ham Lake man is suing the Minnesota Pain Center and Walgreens Co.for the roles he claims they played in his eventual development of an opioid addiction.

      Michael Faulhaber and his wife, Yvonne Faulhaber, are seeking more than $50,000 in damages to account for the pain and suffering they’ve endured as a result of his addiction, and to offset money they’ve spent treating it, according to a civil complaint filed Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court.

      David Hutchinson, a longtime Twin Cities defense attorney who has represented hospitals, clinics and doctors in malpractice suits, said that while he’s heard of similar lawsuits filed nationally, this is the first of its kind he’s aware of ...

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    4. 5,000 Bair Hugger lawsuits dismissed by Minnesota federal court

      5,000 Bair Hugger lawsuits dismissed by Minnesota federal court

      A Minnesota federal court has dismissed all lawsuits against the company’s Bair Hugger system, used to warm patients before, during and after surgery. The decision dismisses more than 5,000 lawsuits filed by plaintiffs’ attorneys, who claimed that the warming system was responsible for infections suffered by patients during surgery, according to a 3M news release. Those lawsuits were consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in federal court in Minnesota. The federal decision in favor of 3M comes six months after the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a Minnesota state court order dismissing 61 similar cases filed by lawyers on behalf of Minnesota plaintiffs, 3M said.

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    5. For those with hearing impairments, restaurant noise is discrimination

      For those with hearing impairments, restaurant noise is discrimination

      Under Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act, restaurants — as places of public accommodation — must accommodate disabilities. But what if the disability is a hearing impairment, and the request is for a lower volume?

      Restaurant noise routinely climbs into the high 70-decibel range (the whir of a canister vacuum) and sometimes hits the mid-80s (the roar of a nearby diesel truck). At 70 decibels, only half of speech is intelligible. By 75 decibels, people can’t converse at all without shouting. And that’s for people with normal hearing.

      “Everyone thinks that hearing loss is a normal part of aging,” Fink said. “It’s not. The major cause of hearing loss is noise exposure, and it’s entirely preventable.”

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    6. MN Attorney General sues opioid maker Purdue Pharma

      Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma, accusing it of violating consumer fraud laws in marketing the painkilling drug OxyContin. Purdue Pharma allegedly used sales representatives, payments to promoters, and third-party front groups to “spread its deceptive messages about opioids,” Swanson said Monday in announcing the Hennepin County District Court lawsuit. Minnesota is the 26th state to sue Purdue Pharma this year.

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    7. Jury acquits Minnesota driver in killing 85-year-old at end of driveway

      Jury acquits Minnesota driver in killing 85-year-old at end of driveway

      A 62-year-old Minnesota man accused of careless driving in connection with the death of a northern Minnesota woman in 2016, has been acquitted by a jury. Timothy Paul Kostal was charged in Aitkin County District Court with misdemeanor careless driving on June 10, 2016. Margaret Ann Johnson, 85, of Aitkin, was found dead on the shoulder of a county road about 3.5 miles east of Aitkin. Kostal was acquitted of careless driving charge on Thursday following a trial.

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