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Kyute v. Auslund

September 16, 2003

JANA KYUTE, RESPONDENT,
v.
EVELYN AUSLUND, APPELLANT.



Ottertail County District Court File No. C3011396

Considered and decided by Hudson, Presiding Judge, Willis, Judge, and Anderson, Judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Future medical expenses and loss of future earning capacity are economic damages and are not subject to the tort-threshold requirements of Minn. Stat. §á65B.51, subd. 3 (2002).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: G. Barry Anderson, Judge

Affirmed

OPINION

This case rises out of a motor-vehicle accident. Following a jury trial on the issue of damages resulting from the accident, respondent was awarded $913.43 for unreimbursed past medical expenses, $6,000 for future medical expenses, and $6,000 for loss of future earning capacity. Judgment for these amounts was entered against appellant. Appellant challenges the judgment, arguing that (1) respondent's unreimbursed past medical expenses should be paid by respondent's first-party insurer, and (2) future medical expenses and loss of future earning capacity are non-economic damages subject to the tort-threshold requirements of Minn. Stat. §á65B.51, subd. 3 (2002). Because we conclude that appellant is liable for respondent's unreimbursed past medical expenses and that future medical expenses and loss of future earning capacity are economic damages, not subject to the tort-threshold requirements of Minn. Stat. §á65B.51, subd. 3, we affirm.

FACTS

On October 9, 1998, respondent Jana Kyute sustained injuries in a motor-vehicle accident when her vehicle was struck by appellant Evelyn Ausland's vehicle. Appellant admitted liability for the accident. A jury trial on the issue of damages was held, and the jury returned a special verdict on August 2, 2002. The jury found that respondent did not satisfy any of the tort-threshold requirements of Minn. Stat. §á65B.51, subd. 3 (2002), and awarded respondent, relevant to this appeal, $913.43 for unreimbursed past medical expenses, $6,000 for future medical expenses, and $6,000 for loss of future earning capacity.

The district court concluded that respondent was entitled to the awards for unreimbursed past medical expenses, future medical expenses, and loss of future earning capacity, and judgment was entered accordingly.

This appeal follows.

ISSUES

I. Is respondent entitled to recovery for unreimbursed past medical expenses?

II. Is respondent entitled to recovery for future medical expenses and loss of ...


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