Some time before November, 2005, Jeff Quinn was injured working on a construction project for his employer, Bor-Son Construction Company (R.I.P.). Quinn settled his workers’ compensation claim with Bor-Son in a settlement in which Bor-Son reserved its subrogation rights. In other words, Bor-Son retained its rights to bring an action against other third-parties responsible for Quinn’s injury to recapture payments made to Quinn under the workers’ comp settlement.
Quinn later brought a claim against Excelsior & Grand II, LLC related to his workplace injury but he failed to share that information with Bor-Son, that is, not until a late Friday afternoon voice-mail to Bor-Son’s counsel about a mediation scheduled for the upcoming Monday.
What kind of notice is that?
The Minnesota Court of Appeals had to step in recently because Quinn’s counsel, Noack Law Office, which promotes itself as a workers compensation law firm, not only cut the corner way too close on adequate notice to Bor-Son but Quinn also entered into a settlement agreement at the mediation that was self-contradictory: it included the notation “Naig settlement,” which would exclude subrogation claims, and also contained language purporting to “include subrogation claims or liens.”
The Minnesota Court of Appeals found that a Naig settlement occurred regardless despite Quinn’s faulty notice and self-contradictory settlement agreement. So what does Bor-Son get out of Quinn’s $57,500 settlement? Citing the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Adams decision, the Court of Appeals remanded for the trial court (Hennepin County district court, where the case had been before Judge Janet N. Poston) to determine the particular distribution that Bor-Son will receive as a result of the Quinn-Excelsior settlement.