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Vandenheuvel v. Wagner

January 16, 2004

D. SCOTT VANDENHEUVEL, ET AL., APPELLANTS,
v.
VIRGIL A. WAGNER, RESPONDENT.



Wright County District Court File No. C8-01-1846

Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge; Willis, Judge; and Anderson, Judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

When an offer of judgment is made and rejected by the offeree, and the net judgment is less favorable to the offeree than the offer, the offeree must pay all of the offeror's costs and disbursements, not only those costs and disbursements incurred after the offer was made.

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

Affirmed

Dissenting, Klaphake, Judge

OPINION

Appellants, D. Scott and Dawn Vandenheuvel, challenge the district court's award to respondent of all of respondent's costs and disbursements, after appellant's rejected an offer of judgment that was ultimately more favorable than the net judgment. Appellants argue that Minn. R. Civ. P. 68 gives offerors the right to only costs and disbursements incurred after the offer of judgment when the rejected offer is more favorable than the net judgment. Because we conclude that the district court did not err in granting respondent all of his costs and disbursements, we affirm.

FACTS

The facts are not in dispute in this case. On May 11, 2000, appellant Dawn Vandenheuvel and respondent were involved in an automobile accident, injuring appellant Dawn Vandenheuvel's back and shoulder. Appellants brought suit against respondent for personal injuries and loss of consortium.

One month before trial, respondent made an offer of judgment pursuant to rule 68 in the amount of $25,000. Appellants rejected this offer. Appellants prevailed at trial and damages were set at approximately $32,090. The no-fault automobile insurer had paid appellants $20,090, and this amount was offset. Thus, the net judgment was approximately $12,000. Because the net judgment in favor of appellants was less than the offer, the district court granted respondent all of his costs and disbursements, over appellants' objections. This appeal followed.

ISSUE

Does Minn. R. Civ. P. 68 allow the recovery of all costs and disbursements--or only those incurred after the offer is made and rejected--when the offer of ...


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