State News : Minnesota

NWCDN is a network of law firms dedicated to protecting employers in workers’ compensation claims.


NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.  


Select a state from the dropdown menu below to scroll through the state specific archives for updates and opinions on various workers’ compensation laws in your state.


Contact information for NWCDN members is also located on the state specific links in the event you have additional questions or your company is seeking a workers’ compensation lawyer in your state.


Minnesota

COUSINEAU, WALDHAUSER & KIESELBACH, P.A.

  651-393-5861

In October 2021, the Minnesota Supreme Court handed down a groundbreaking decision after its review of the Bierbach v. Digger's Polaris and Musta v. Mendota Heights Dental Center workers' compensation cases. Click Here for a full analysis of those cases. In summary, the Minnesota Supreme Court held that Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Courts, including the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA), lack jurisdiction to decide whether federal law preempts Minnesota law requiring an employer or insurer to reimburse an employee for medical treatment in the form of medical cannabis. The Minnesota Supreme Court also held that the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act is preempted by the Federal Controlled Substance Act (CSA). As such, Minnesota Employers and Insurers are not required to reimburse employees for medical cannabis used to treat a work injury.

 

The Supreme Court of the United States is now reviewing the decision of the Minnesota Supreme Court to provide guidance to lower courts and states around the country regarding compensability of medical cannabis. Click the following links for the SCOTUS dockets in Musta v. Mendota Heights Dental and Bierbach v. Digger’s Polaris. In addition to legal briefs and arguments submitted by the parties, the U.S. Supreme Court has now invited the Biden Administration to submit a brief regarding the issues. This news certainly signals that this case could become a landmark decision.

Employers, Insurers, and courts in every state have been faced with very difficult questions as to the application of state cannabis laws that contradict the federal prohibition. Given this pending United States Supreme Court case, workers’ compensation professionals around the country will likely receive some guidance as to whether there is a legal requirement to reimburse employees for medical cannabis used to treat a work-related injury and whether the federal Controlled Substances Act preempts contradictory state laws.

For now, the state of the law in Minnesota remains unchanged, and Employers and Insurers are not required to reimburse employees for medical cannabis used to treat a work injury in Minnesota. We will continue to monitor the filings at the United States Supreme Court closely, so please feel free to reach out with any questions.

Summary by Parker T. Olson