Workers Compensation Attorney Fees

Minnesota case law summary by Attorney Richard Clem: Workers Compensation Attorney Fees.

Curtis B. Braatz v. Parsons Electric Company and Zurich North America/GAB Robins, Inc.. MN Workers Compensation Attorney Fees

In this workers compensation appeal, the Minnesota Supreme Court held:

1. Under the plain language of Minn. Stat. 176.081, an employee who fails to file and address all reasonably related claims at the same time forfeits attorney fees for claims that could have been, but were not, addressed in an earlier proceeding, but the employee does not forfeit the right to seek attorney fees for claims that were addressed.

2. The compensation judge did not abuse his discretion in awarding attorney fees pursuant to Minn. Stat. 176.081, that exceeded the amount of the benefits awarded to the employee when the compensation judge considered the factors in Irwin v. Surdyk's Liquor, 599 N.W.2d 132 (Minn. 1999), to ensure that the attorney recovered a reasonable amount of fees for representing the employee.

No. A13-2320 (Minn. July 23, 2014)

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

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