Legal Memorandum: Contributory Negligence Cases in MN

Issue: What impact does a plaintiff’s age have on any contributory negligence in an accident case?

Area of Law: Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Contributory negligence; Age
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 11/01/2012

In general, the age of the plaintiff does not defeat a defendant’s claim of contributory negligence.  Toetschinger v. Ihnot, 250 N.W.2d 204 (Minn. 1977).  However, because a person’s negligence is measured by the standard of care expected of others in similar situations, the person’s age does impact contributory negligence.  “[A] minor is required to exercise only the degree of care and vigilance which reasonably may be expected of one of his age and mental capacity under similar circumstances.”  Pettit v. Lifson, 57 N.W.2d 34, 38 (Minn. 1953).


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