Mattson v. City of Rushford, et al.

(Unpublished, No. A15-1018)

Minnesota Court of Appeals, April 18, 2016


In Mattson v. City of Rushford, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to several defendants who were sued by Mattson for injuries she sustained while biking.


Ms. Jessica Mattson was severely injured in a bicycle crash when she rode her bike over a bridge and off a sidewalk, where she landed in an unseen culvert.  Ms. Mattson flipped forward over her bicycle and landed in rocks on the ground.  She sustained severe, permanent injuries requiring several surgeries.  Ms. Mattson brought a lawsuit against the City of Rushford, the State of Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT), and several of the contractors who were performing construction work at the location.  The defendants each brought summary judgment motions which were all granted by the district court.  Ms. Mattson appealed.

The court of appeals discussed several issues.  The first issue was whether the district court had erred in determining that Ms. Mattson had failed to establish a prima facie claim of negligence against MNDOT.  The district court found that neither MNDOT nor Rushford owed a duty of care to Ms. Mattson.  Ms. Mattson had argued that MNDOT and Rushford had negligently maintained the area, negligently designed the area, and negligently failed to warn of the hazard.  The appellate court found that Ms. Mattson had failed to provide any evidence of negligent maintenance of the sidewalk.  Furthermore, the court found that neither MNDOT nor Rushford owed a duty to warn Ms. Mattson due to statutory immunity, vicarious official immunity, and recreational use immunity.

The appellate court also found that the district court did not err in granting summary judgment to the three contractor defendants for various reasons.

Ultimately, the court affirmed the district court’s rulings, and found that all defendants were entitled to summary judgment.


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