New Civil Rules Won’t Affect Asbestos Case Management

The recent changes to the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure will not impact the handling of Asbestos-related civil lawsuits in Minnesota.   By Order of the Supreme Court, all asbestos-related litigation in the state is administered by the Ramsey County District Court.  Judge Van De North is the presiding judge for the cases and he has been considering the rule changes since they took effect on July 1, 2013.  On November 14, 2013, Judge Van De North ordered that the current Case Management Order for Asbestos Litigation will remain in place and will not be impacted by the new rules.  In fact, Judge Van De North commented that he consulted with the drafters of the new rules of civil procedure, and the drafters noted that the way in which Asbestos cases are administered in Minnesota is light-years ahead of other civil litigation in the state and the new rules are actually the first step towards a state-wide system similar to the one used in Ramsey County for Asbestos litigation.