Articles Posted in Estate Planning

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Appellant Louise Shorter Barzey challenged the constitutionality of certain provisions in the Workers' Compensation Act that precluded her, as a non-dependent parent, from recovering benefits for the death of her son, Deron Shorter, from his employer, the City of Cuthbert. Shorter was killed in 2010 while acting in the course of his employment with the City. He was 37 at the time of his death, was not married, and had no dependents. His mother Barzey was his only heir at law. After Shorter's death, Barzey filed a lawsuit against the City, seeking a judgment declaring that she has the right to sue the City. Barzey acknowledged that the Workers' Compensation Act provided the exclusive remedy of an employee's heirs for the employee's death during the course of his employment. She also acknowledged that the Act expressly said that the compensation for a deceased employee "shall be payable only to dependents and only during dependency." After its review, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the Act's limitation on the recovery of nondependent heirs did not violate Barzey's constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. View "Barzey v. City of Cuthbert" on Justia Law

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After a jury trial, Faith Krueger appealed and Grand Forks County cross-appealed a judgment in favor of the County in Krueger's action for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, trespass to chattel, conversion, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent supervision of a public administrator. In July 2012, Krueger sued the County alleging she lost over $300,000 in property and assets after Barbara Zavala, the Grand Forks County Public Administrator, was appointed her guardian and conservator. Krueger claimed the County was liable for Zavala's actions under N.D.C.C. 32-12.1-03 because Zavala was a county employee. Krueger argued on appeal to the Supreme Court that the district court erred in denying her motion to compel discovery, denying her motion for a continuance, denying her claim for damages for mental anguish, erred in its evidentiary rulings, jury instructions, and by allowing certain statements by the County's attorney during closing arguments. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court.View "Krueger v. Grand Forks County" on Justia Law