Minneapolis Assault & Battery Lawyer

Minneapolis assault and battery lawyers of TSR Injury Law represent victims of many forms of physical assault. Our partners have been named Minnesota Super Lawyers many times. You can pursue justice. We can help. Call Steve Terry, Chuck Slane, or Rich Ruohonen at 612-TSR-TIME or fill out our contact form.

Being threatened (assault) or attacked (battery) by another person is a terrible experience. You may have sustained very serious, even life-altering injuries after being:

  • mugged;
  • beaten;
  • raped; or
  • otherwise attacked by callous individuals.

Beyond the physical injuries sustained as a result of assault and battery, there are often long-lasting emotional effects that you must live with, such as increased anxiety, decreased enjoyment of life and, potentially, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Seeking Justice

Even if your attacker is convicted and sent to jail, you are left to deal with lingering physical and emotional pain. There is also the stress of paying off medical bills at a time when you may be temporarily or permanently unable to work.

One way to seek justice is to file a personal injury claim against the person who attacked you. If you win, you can be compensated for:

  • your past medical expenses (associated with this attack);
  • your future medical expenses;
  • lost wages; and/or
  • pain and suffering.

It will not undo the pain of your experience, but it will ease your recovery by paying your medical bills and providing compensation for your suffering.

Unfortunately, this type of suit can be difficult to win. The problem is that the damages awarded must come from either insurance or the attacker’s personal assets. Many insurance companies do not cover damages that were deliberately done by the policy holder, although there are exceptions to this. Most likely, you will have to receive your damages from the attacker’s own account, which means you may not be able to collect the awarded compensation.

Contact Minneapolis Assault and Battery Victim’s Attorney

If you are filing an assault and battery lawsuit, you will need a dedicated attorney who understands the complexities of the law and knows how to win the compensation you deserve. Contact TSR Injury Law at (612) TSR-TIME or submit our contact form.

Belgrade Teacher on Bicycle Killed by Semi

In October, a teacher bicycling was killed in a traffic accident involving a semi near Belgrade. The victim was also a coach in the Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa district.

The teacher, Richard Vos, 38, a BBE wrestling coach and math teacher, was killed while he was bicycling along U.S. 71 around 5 a.m. when a semi, driven by Brian L. Anderson, 50, was heading southbound and hit Vos.

Vos was wearing a helmet and Anderson sustained no injuries. A set of headphones were also found near the scene, but it is not clear if they played a role in the crash.

The BBE School District cancelled all of their sports activities that day in memory of their beloved teacher.

In the school’s blog, they stated that Vos began teaching for the school district in 1998 and was assistant coach of the varsity wrestling team until 2001. He then became the head coach and coached the junior high track and field team. The school also said that Vos worked very hard to build the school’s wrestling program. He convinced parents to become volunteers and was an instrumental player in getting the school to convert unused classrooms into a wrestling practice area.

The BBE school district has said that he will be dearly missed by the students, his fellow teachers, and the community as a whole.

Later on the day Vos was killed, his family visited the scene to mourn his loss.

Voss leaves behind his wife and two children.

Homeless Man Left Paralyzed after Library Shooting

A 24-year-old man was charged with felony first-degree assault after a library shooting that left a homeless man paralyzed.

Timothy Harper has now pleaded guilty to the charges stemming from the 2012 shooting that left 42-year-old Macdad Abdullahi, a Sudan immigrant, paralyzed below the waist. His paralysis was the result of a gunshot wound to the lower back. He was treated at the Hennepin County medical Center and it was there that the doctors determined that the paralysis could not be reversed.

Authorities say that Abdullahi was in the bathroom of the library brushing his teeth when Harper came into the bathroom and shot him for no reason.

It is expected that Harper will be sentenced to seven years or more in prison when his sentencing occurs on April 15, according to the Hennepin County attorney.

The court documents state that police responded to a June 13 call at 12:30 p.m. to come to the Franklin Library, which is where they found Abdullahi lying on the restroom floor. His legs were tucked under him.

Abdullahi told the police that he was brushing his teeth when a man came out of nowhere and randomly shot him one time in the back. Abdullahi said that he did not provoke the man in any way.

Surveillance video shows Harper follow Abdullahi into the bathroom and then he exited a short time after, tucking away what was determined to be a gun into the waistband of his pants. It took over a month for Harper to be identified as the shooter. Once he was identified, he was charged the next month. According to the charges, Harper said he believe that Abdullahi was going to hurt him.

If you are the victim of a serious injury, contact a licensed personal injury attorney at TSR Injury Law today. Ph: (612) TSR-TIME.

Summons and Complaint Filed in 35W Bridge Collapse

Summons and complaint filed against URS Corporation and Progressive Contractors Incorporated, by TSR Injury Law, on behalf of a 35W bridge collapse survivor.

The complaint includes an overview of the disaster:

  • On August 1, 2007, the I-35W Bridge (“Bridge”) north of downtown Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi River.
  • The Bridge collapse was the State’s worst man-made disaster. The Bridge collapse killed 13 people and injured over 145 people.
  • The Bridge collapse never should have happened.
  • The Bridge collapse was entirely avoidable.
  • The Bridge collapse occurred because of the wrongdoing by Defendants URS Corporation and Progressive Contractors Incorporated, both of whom breached duties to the People of the State of Minnesota and the motoring public, including the Plaintiff.

DEFENDANT: URS Corporation (URS)

Defendant URS is a foreign, for-profit, engineering firm with more than 50,000 employees working in approximately 370 offices and job sites in more than 30 different countries. They are licensed to do business in the State of Minnesota. URS represents itself as a “world leader in infrastructure design and engineering”, which is “at the forefront of efforts to restore deteriorating and obsolete infrastructure” (e.g. bridges). Defendant URS held itself as an “expert” in the analysis and remediation of non-redundant truss bridges like the Bridge. Defendant URS even states: “WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY ACCIDENT IS PREVENTABLE.”

DEFENDANT: Progressive Contractors Incorporated (PCI)

Defendant PCI is a Minnesota domestic, for-profit corporation that provides bridge and highway contractor services.

History of the 35W Bridge

The Bridge was built in the early 1960s through contracts issued by the Minnesota Department of Highways (now known as the Minnesota Department of Transportation “Mn/DOT”). The Bridge was a truss bridge composed of connected elements that were stressed from tension and/or compression in response to dynamic loads and forces. The Bridge was also a “non-redundant” and “fracture-critical” bridge, meaning that the entire Bridge could (and did) collapse upon the failure of one critical element.

In 2003, Mn/DOT sought the expert advice of Defendant URS for the purpose of analyzing the Bridge’s integrity and safety and obtaining recommendations to ensure the Bridge’s integrity for the safety of the motoring public.

In that same year, Mn/DOT and Defendant URS entered into a series of contracts whereby URS promised and undertook to fully inspect and evaluate the Bridge’s integrity and safety and make recommendations to ensure the Bridge’s ongoing safety and integrity.
URS, among other things, specifically promised and undertook to:

  • Participate in annual inspections of the Bridge;
  • Assess the Bridge’s structural condition;
  • Perform a structural evaluation of the Bridge’s fracture critical components;
  • Inspect the Bridge’s critical components and joints, and monitor joint movements and prepare a report of findings;
  • Inspect the Bridge’s critical members, connections and fatigue details;
  • Inspect the Bridge’s rolling bearing supports for movement;
  • Identify the main superstructure members of the truss-arch spans that were most susceptible to fatigue cracking;
  • Evaluate the structural consequences should one of those members fail;
  • Determine repair methods for fatigue cracks;
  • Identify preferred staging of deck replacement to minimize stresses in the Bridge during such activity;
  • Develop tension and compression failure criteria;
  • Compute tension compression failure forces for all primary and secondary truss members and connections;
  • Provide a final report by May 17, 2005, to the Mn/DOT with recommendations for ensuring the Bridge’s safety and integrity.

Defendant URS knew, or should have known, before August 1, 2007, that:

  • The Bridge’s rolling bearing supports were locked or jammed;
  • The Bridge could not move laterally as designed because the rolling bearing supports were locked due to corrosion, etc;
  • Some of the Bridge’s gusset plates were 1” thick, while others were only ½” thick;
  • The disparate size of the gusset plates compromised the Bridge’s safety and integrity;
  • The ½-inch gusset plates at “U10” were deformed and buckled;
  • The Bridge’s safety and integrity was compromised by deformed and buckled gusset plates;
  • Defendant PCI’s work on the Bridge could produce a catastrophic sequence of events due to the effect of increased loads on the already significantly compromised Bridge.

Before August 1, 2007, Defendant URS told the Mn/DOT that:

  • The gusset plates at U10 were in “good condition;”
  • Gusset plate failure would not be catastrophic;
  • The Bridge would last indefinitely with “proper inspection.”

Upon information and belief, as of August 1, 2007, more than three years after Defendant URS began its work and two years and three months beyond the original due date for its analysis and recommendations concerning the Bridge’s safety and integrity, URS had not provided the Mn/DOT with its final analysis and recommendations of the Bridge’s integrity and safety, and did nothing to rectify the known problems with the Bridge.


  • On or before August 1, 2007, Defendant PCI, held itself out to the Mn/DOT and the public as an expert in construction and engineering.
  • Before August 1, 2007, Defendant PCI began performing a deck-resurfacing project on the Bridge pursuant to its own contract with the Mn/DOT.
  • Before August 1, 2007, both URS and PCI chose not to warn anyone of the potentially catastrophic effect of increased loads on the already significantly compromised Bridge.
  • On the afternoon of August 1, 2007, approximately two to three hours before the Bridge collapsed, Defendant PCI, without authorization from the Mn/DOT, chose to place more than 500,000 pounds of construction equipment, material and vehicles onto the Bridge directly above the U10 nodes. PCI could have chosen to place the loads off the Bridge less than 1,000 feet away. But, instead, it chose not to. PCI’s choice on the placement of this additional weight played a substantial part in bringing about the Bridge’s collapse and fall of more than 108 feet into the 15-foot-deep Mississippi River.

Count I Negligence against URS

  • With its claimed expertise, and in light of its undertakings, promises, and the standard of care, Defendant URS had a duty, responsibility and obligation to make sure the Bridge was in good and safe condition for the use of Minnesotans and others using the Bridge. URS failed in its duties, responsibilities and obligations.
  • Defendant URS negligently failed to recognize and/or wrongfully ignored the urgency of the Bridge’s hazardous and compromised condition and failed to fulfill its duties, responsibilities, and promises to the motoring public to ensure the Bridge was safe and in good condition for use by the public.
  • Defendant URS violated the applicable standard of care and was negligent in its engineering, analysis, and inspection of the Bridge.
  • Defendant URS violated the applicable standard of care and was negligent in failing to warn the People of Minnesota and the Mn/DOT of the substantially compromised and hazardous condition of the Bridge.
  • Defendant URS violated the applicable standard of care and was negligent in its inspection and evaluation of the safety and integrity of the Bridge. URS was in other ways negligent.
  • Defendant URS’ actions and failure to act were in deliberate disregard of the rights and safety of the motoring public, including Plaintiff.
  • Defendant URS’ negligence and violations of the applicable standard of care played a substantial part in bringing about the Bridge’s collapse and the Plaintiff’ resulting injuries and damages.

Count II Negligence against PCI

  • Defendant PCI violated the applicable standard of care and was negligent in its performance of its work on the Bridge including, but not limited to, choosing to place large and concentrated loads onto the Bridge and by choosing to do so without authorization or regard to, or analysis of, the potential effects of its choice.
  • Defendant PCI’s negligence and violations of the applicable standard of care played a substantial part in bringing about the Bridge’s collapse and Plaintiff’s resulting injuries and damages.

Minnesota Boy in Critical Condition after being Struck by Pontoon

Minnesota is known for its 10,000 lakes, which means there are a lot of boaters on the waters. The number of boaters increases the chance that a boating accident will occur somewhere and someone will be severely injured.

On August 13th, an 8-year-old boy from Willmar, Minnesota was listed in critical condition at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale. He was the victim of a boating accident on Big Kandiyohi Lake and was airlifted to the hospital after the accident that on August 11th.

William Huisinga was knee-boarding with his family on the lake’s south shore when he was struck by a pontoon boat.

According to the Caringbridge website that was set up on his behalf, the boy suffered injuries to his face. The post said that most of his facial bones had been broken and his left eye was severely injured.

It was reported that he was undergoing surgery on Monday and could expect to be in the hospital for a number of weeks.

According to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s office, the boy was on the knee board and was being pulled out into the lake by a fishing boat that was driven by his father, 33-year-old Nicholas Huisinga.

Marilyn Almen, 75, of Minnetonka was passing by in a pontoon boat from the west when Almen looked up to find the fishing boat directly in front of the pontoon. Almen then veered to miss the fishing boat and struck William.

The sheriff’s office said alcohol was not a factor in the accident.

If your child is hit and injured in a boating accident due to the negligence of another individual, there may be sufficient grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit.. To find out if you have a case, contact TSR Injury Law today at (612) TSR-TIME and speak to a licensed personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis about your claim.

TSR Injury Law. Ph: (612) TSR-TIME

Burn and Explosion Injury Claims

If you have been burned in a serious accident then living with this traumatic experience could leave you physically and emotionally scarred for life. Burns and explosions can happen anywhere and can affect people of all ages. Chemical burns, electrical burns, vehicle explosions and propane gas explosions are only a few of the different burns and explosions our team of qualified accident lawyers handles.

Find out your legal rights when faced with any burn or explosion injury today by speaking to TSR Injury Law Firm as soon as possible.

Degrees of Burns

There are three different degrees or levels of severity in burns. It can hard to know where your injury fits in by just looking at it which is why immediate medical attention is required for all three.

First Degree Burns

Superficial burns that affect the top layer of the skin. In most instances first degree burns will heal on their own but they can sometimes scar and cause emotional trauma, especially after an explosion. These burns can be caused by a number of instances including chemical exposure, fire and electric shocks.

In a first degree burn, the skin will look red and may be tender to the touch. It may also be moist, somewhat swollen, and itchy. These burns do not blister or leave a scar.

You may treat first degree burns at home. Hold the burn under running, cold water for 10 minutes. Do not use ice. This can further damage the skin. You may put sterile gauze on the burn, but do not use adhesive bandages. The gauze needs to be loose to allow air flow. Do not use butter or oils. They will intensify the heat and deepen the burn. An anti-inflammatory, over the counter medication will help with pain and inflammation.

Second Degree Burns

Are more severe than first degree burns, these burns will burn through several layers of skin. Second degree burns will blister and leave scarring. Medical treatment is required and often surgery as well.

A second degree burn is sometimes called a partial thickness burn. A second degree burn penetrates the epidermis and sometimes reaches the dermis. There is redness, blistering, and extensive pain. The pain is heightened due to the fact that the nerves are damaged, not destroyed. In a second degree burn, there can be damage to sweat glands and hair follicles, as well as severe swelling.

Most second degree burns require medical attention and will heal in 10-21 days. Second degree burns do leave a change in skin color and pigmentation. If the second degree burn is ivory or whitish in color, it will require a process known as debridement (scrubbing) to avoid any type of infection. Debridement will be followed up with skin grafting treatment.

Third Degree Burns

These are the most serious types of burns that destroy all layers of the skin. They can also impact the muscle, bone, nerve and fat of your body. Third degree burns will result in scarring and possible disfigurement among several other complications.

A third degree burn is the most severe of the burn injury classifications. It is known as a full-thickness burn. With a third degree burn, there is swelling and blistering, caused by the loss of fluid from damaged blood vessels. Severe fluid loss can cause shock. Blood transfusions may be needed. When the burn covers more than 20% of the body, fluid resuscitation is done by intravenous drip. Fluid resuscitation is required during the first 24 hours.

In the second 24 hours, the burn wounds will be cleaned, the dead skin will be removed by a process called debridement (scrubbing), and the dressing will be changed at regular intervals. All of the dead skin needs to be removed to minimize the chance of infection. The debridement process will continue until they get down to an area that starts bleeding.

Once the dead skin is completely cleaned from the wound, new skin may start to form in some areas and skin grafting treatment will begin where needed. Skin will be removed from an undamaged part of the body. The grafts may be put through a machine to expand the piece of skin. When this is done it leaves a permanent mesh design in the grafted skin.

Any grafted skin or skin that grows over the wound will be thinner than normal skin. That is because it is only epidermis cells. The dermis does not regenerate. The thinner skin will continue to cause complications and inconveniences for life.

  • Dryness will be a problem, due to the permanent damage to oil glands.
  • The thinner skin will be prone to eczema because if exposed to any irritating agent, it will break down and become scaly.
  • The skin is hot and cold intolerant. Any extreme temperature is uncomfortable for the thin skin, sometimes even painful.
  • The burned area is prone to wrinkles. It is parchment thin, dry, and lacks the elasticity of the dermis layer.

Third Degree Burn Injury Complications

Here are some of the complications following a third degree burn:

  • After a major burn injury, heart rate and blood pressure may increase. This is due to the chemical reaction in the tissue and the massive fluid shift in the body. They should return to normal after 24 hours.
  • Infection is another major complication with a burn injury. With major sections of skin missing, the integrity of the immune system is broken down.
  • Burn wounds are susceptible to tetanus. A booster shot is required if the victim has not had a tetanus shot in the last 5 years.
  • When burns completely encompass an extremity, circulation may be compromised. The limb(s) should be elevated to prevent swelling.
  • In a severe third degree burn, the damaged muscles and red blood cells can release myoglobin and hemoglobin that can lead to kidney failure. This is also a side effect if fluid resuscitation has not been achieved.

Long-Term Prognosis

There are many continuing issues with burned skin.

  • Dryness will always be a problem because the oil glands were damaged.
  • Some people have issues with sweating.
  • Burn victims are prone to eczema, because the skin is thinner and breaks down easier.
  • The burned area is prone to wrinkles at an earlier age.
  • The burn victim may have a permanent mesh pattern to the burned area if skin grafting was used.

A burn victim suffers more than visible injuries — there are psychological and emotional issues to work through. It is not unusual for a burn victim to have nightmares, cold sweats, low self-esteem, and depression. Their world has been permanently changed and the adjustment can be very difficult.

Common Causes of Burns and Explosions

We offer our assistance to victims of burn injuries in the event of:

  • Unsafe building practices and building code violations
  • Unsafe work environments(612) TSR-TIME
  • Careless and recklessness
  • Defective products
  • Unsafe handling of explosives
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Unsafe use of gas or other flammable liquids

Burns and explosions can happen in an instant and it can often be hard to remember what exactly happen. You may be experienced post traumatic stress disorder that can impact you for the rest of your life.

At TSR Injury Law firm we will get to the bottom of what exactly happened and find out who is responsible. Whether it is the property owner’s fault, a product manufacturer error or a workplace related accident, we can help you piece the puzzles back together so you can move on easier.

Need Legal Help? Contact Us Today

Seeking medical attention at the first site of a burn or explosion is necessary, even if you think it is not really at all that. File a report at work if it happened at the workplace and speak to a Minnesota burn lawyer as soon as you can. Liability insurance covers instances of burns but often this is not enough.

At TSR Injury Law we can help you determine what you are entitled to and make sure you get everything you deserve for your emotional and physical pain. Contact TSR Injury Law Firm today to learn more about your options at (612) TSR TIME.

Minneapolis Fire Accident Lawyers

Fires can do serious damage and destruction to homes, cars and wildlife. However, it can also cause devastating and fatal consequences to people. If you have suffered injury or have experienced the death of a loved one due to a fire accident, then you might have the right to financial compensation. You could be legally awarded compensation through an insurance claim or through a personal injury lawsuit against the person or company responsible for the incident.

Learn more about your rights and see how financial compensation can help you gain a better control of what has happened and how you can move positively towards the future.

Contact our team of experienced Minneapolis injury attorneys at TSR Injury Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Fire Related Accidents

Fires can occur in a number of different circumstances. At TSR Injury Law Firm we can help you with fire accidents related to:

  • Workplace related fires
  • Chemical fires
  • Auto accidents explosions
  • Fires in the home
  • Fires in the office

Fire related accidents that occur anywhere fall under different insurance claims. For example, a fire in your home may be related to your homeowners insurance while a workplace chemical accident can be handled by worker’s compensation. However, is this really enough? Are you sure you are getting everything you are entitled to by your insurance agency? In most instances, you won’t be.

We specialize in helping those that have faced a serious fire injury gain the compensation they are entitled to without having to go through hoops just to speak to their insurance company. We can handle the complications of your insurance claim or denial and will explore all avenues to ensure you are getting fair compensation. Your compensation package can pay for things like:

  • A loss of income
  • Rehabilitation, therapy and recovery
  • Medication and surgery
  • Medical devices and apparatuses
  • Hospital and in home care costs
  • A loss of quality of life

Burns and Smoke Injury

The most common injury due to fires is burns. First, second and third degree burns can impact your quality of life. You may need surgery and require special medication and hospitalization. You may be unable to work or take part in many every day activities. You may need to undergo therapy and to live with emotional and physical scarring for the rest of your life. These are all hard enough to handle without the added financial pressure that comes with this type of accident.

Burns are one common fire accident injury. Damage to the lungs is another. Smoke can do serious damage to your lungs and you may have trouble breathing for the rest of your life. You may not be able to go for a walk anywhere and you may require a breathing device just to get through the day.

Have Some Questions?

At TSR Injury Law Firm, we want to help you. We have years of experience handling personal injury lawsuits across Minnesota and can assure you our confidential and trusted guidance throughout the process. Call (612) TSR-TIME to find out how TSR Injury Law will fight for justice for you.

Catered Liquor Ordinance

East Bethel has hopped on the wagon with Princeton and other small cities requiring caterers to have a permit to serve alcohol at private events. The new ordinance takes effect Friday, June 12th. They hope that it will keep a tighter rein on alcohol sales from illegitimate caterers at events.

“When there’s liquor involved, it behooves us to make sure our public safety people know,” said East Bethel City Administrator Doug Sell. “It’s also important for the city to know that the individuals serving alcohol are properly insured. Hopefully there’s not an issue but you would hope that they’re properly insured.”

“What they’re concerned about is that people will come in and put a bowl of Fritos out there and chip dip and use that as the excuse to sell food as a foot in the door to sell booze,” said East Bethel City Attorney Jerry Randall. “Cities want to make sure they are legitimate food service operators, not just a pretext to sell booze.”

Caterers are normally licensed by the state and hold liquor licenses in their home municipalities. In the past they have been able to sell liquor in another city without being subject to the same local liquor ordinances that apply to established bars and liquor stores. Now caterers will be required to pay a nominal fee and submit an application and show proof of:

  • Valid, state-issued caterer’s permit
  • Primary liquor license
  • Current insurance policy
  • Contract with a local customer

Violations could result in misdemeanor charges being filed.

If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact a Minneapolis car accident lawyer at (612) TSR-TIME or submit a free consultation form. Our partners are skilled, aggressive litigators with years of experience in personal injury law. We support the mission of MADD Minnesota and received the 2008 MADD Choice Award.

Boy Awarded $500,000 After YMCA Camp Injury

By Dan Linehan dlinehan@mankatofreepress.com | Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 5:01 pm

LE CENTER — An 11 ­year ­old Sleepy Eye boy who was badly burned by fire at a YMCA camp in 2013 has been awarded more than $500,000 by a Le Sueur County jury.

The six­ member jury unanimously decided Monday the YMCA was 80 percent responsible for the injury. Camp Patterson, which the Mankato YMCA has long rented for two weeks a year, was deemed 15 percent responsible, and the boy was 5 percent responsible.

The accident happened June 28, 2013, when Sir Spartucus Marion Sanders, then age 9, tripped and fell partly into a fire pit. He suffered second­ and third­degree burns on his right arm, hand and left wrist. He has undergone three surgeries and received medical care costing more than $150,000.

In their court filings, the YMCA and the camp argued the case was simply about a young child tripping with untied shoelaces when he was near a fire ring. No one was negligent, they argued, and no one was to blame.

But the boy’s attorney, Nathan Bjerke, argued in court the YMCA needed to do more to keep kids away from dangerous places at the camp. The YMCA had rules, he said, about how campers were supposed to exit the campfire area without coming near the fire pit. “That was our point to the jury,” he said. “The adults need to keep the kids under control.” Assuming the verdict withstands a possible appeal, the money would be deposited in a trust the boy could begin to access in increments as early as age 18, said his court appointed guardian, Minneapolis attorney Douglas Shrewsbury. He is the boy’s guardian only for the purpose of the lawsuit and was appointed because his father has health problems after experiencing a stroke.

Shrewsbury said the boy has made a decent recovery, though he has extensive scarring from skin grafts. “He’s really a wonderful, cute kid,” he said. No one alleged the boy was misbehaving on that Thursday evening in June, the last night of the five day camp along Lake Washington. The campers had finished a talent show around the fire and headed down to Lake Washington to watch a counselor sing a song.

Bjerke said there were differing descriptions of what happened next, including whether the boy walked or ran and whether the counselors were sitting with the children when they headed off. One of the camp’s own counselors, though, chose an unfortunate word, from the YMCA’s perspective, to describe how the children left the benches at about 9:15 that night.

A ‘mayheming’

That was the word a counselor used during a recorded interview conducted by the YMCA’s insurance company shortly after the accident, Bjerke said. And it was one the attorney repeated during the six­day trial. “You just don’t let 75 kids walk by a firepit,” he said Tuesday.

The defendants said in court filings the fire had dwindled to “embers and coals,” though Bjerke said Tuesday it was still active. It was, in any case, hot enough to severely burn the boy, known as Sir. He was initially taken to the hospital in Mankato, then was sent to the Hennepin County Medical Center. He underwent surgery there and stayed for two weeks. In addition to his burns, he has scarring from skin grafts on his thigh and buttock. He saw a counselor to help him adjust psychologically to the burns and scars, but that’s normal, Bjerke said.

He said the family sued after the insurance company offered them $10,000.

Calls to the attorneys for the camp and YMCA weren’t returned, but in court filings they disputed the assertion that children were running or playing near the firepit. Mankato Family YMCA Executive Director John Kind said he believes the injury was an accident. “Obviously, we regret that the young man burned himself at the camp,” he said. But, still, he said “accidents happen and you have to do what you can.” He said a decision has yet to be made on an appeal. If it ends up being paid, the money will likely come from the YMCA’s insurance provider, he said, so unless the nonprofit’s insurance rates go up, it will not have a financial loss from the verdict.

Because the jury found the boy 5 percent at fault, the overall award will be reduced by that amount, Bjerke said. That was a bit surprising, he said, and guessed the boy’s untied shoelaces may have come into play. But the defendants also were ordered to pay for the interest that would have accrued if the award were made at the time of the accident (or perhaps when the lawsuit started; Bjerke said it’s a gray area).

Though the YMCA’s initial filings repeatedly claimed the boy’s father, Marcus Grubbs, signed a waiver releasing the YMCA from liability for accidents, the jury never heard about it. That’s because Judge Mark Vandelist ruled it was unenforceable earlier in the trial, when the YMCA and the camp asked him to toss out the suit. Tucking the waiver form into a document to collect information raised “red flags” to the judge. “Clear notice must be given when a person is to sign away important rights and claims,” Vandelist wrote. “The scope of this waiver is ambiguous, the exculpatory clause is unenforceable.” In 2013, Minnesota passed a law saying these waivers can’t protect defendants from major — “willful” or “wanton,” in legal parlance — negligence. But this waiver didn’t make that distinction, making it overly broad, Bjerke said.


It’s not clear who will help manage the boy’s trust, but Shrewsbury hopes they talk about how it could help send him to college. The boy has had what looks to be a challenging life, with his father’s medical condition and the family’s moves from Illinois to Richfield to Sleepy Eye. “It’s pretty clear this could give him opportunities in the future he doesn’t have now,” Shrewsbury said. The $507,506.33 award was split between past and future health expenses, which amounted to 40 percent of the total, and to pain and suffering. His attorneys will take an undisclosed portion.

In a deposition, his father described Sir as a fast runner, a jokester and a wrestler. Shrewsbury added the boy’s second­ favorite subject is math. “I think he’s a smart kid,” he said.

Read the Mankato Free Press Article here.

Minnesota Subdural Hematoma Lawyer

A subdural hematoma occurs when blood gathers on the surface of the brain, usually stemming from an injury to the head. The blood gathers as a result of tears to tiny veins around the brain. Because their veins are more fragile, senior citizens and the very young are particularly susceptible to subdural hematoma. Those on anticoagulant drugs are also at greater risk.

Subdural Hematoma: Symptoms

Symptoms of subdural hematoma may not be immediately noticeable, sometimes taking up to two weeks or more to appear. Once symptoms do appear, they are similar to those found in other types of brain injuries, including:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Amnesia
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of appetite

Subdural Hematoma: Diagnosis and Care

Doctors often perform a brain scan, such as an MRI or CT scan, to diagnose a subdural hematoma. Treatment may include oral medications, but in many cases surgery is required. This surgery involves drilling a small hole in the skull in order to relieve pressure.

If left untreated, subdural hematomas can be fatal. It is important to get expert medical care as soon as possible.

Have Questions About a Subdural Hematoma Injury Claim?

For more information on subdural hematomas, contact a Minneapolis personal injury attorney at TSR Injury Law by calling 612-TSR-TIME or submit our free contact form and a member from our team will contact you shortly.

There are no upfront fees if we take on your case.

Free Consultation. Ph: (612) TSR-TIME.