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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

    Subdivision 1. Duties. In addition to performing duties specified in sections 115B.25
to 115B.37 or in other law, and subject to the limitations on disclosure contained in section
115B.35, the agency shall:
(1) adopt rules, including rules governing practice and procedure before the agency, the form
and procedure for applications for compensation, and procedures for claims investigations;
(2) publicize the availability of compensation and application procedures on a statewide
basis with special emphasis on geographical areas surrounding sites identified by the agency as
having releases from a facility where a harmful substance was placed or came to be located
prior to July 1, 1983;
(3) collect, analyze, and make available to the public, in consultation with the Department of
Health, the Pollution Control Agency, the University of Minnesota Medical and Public Health
Schools, and the medical community, data regarding injuries relating to exposure to harmful
substances; and
(4) prepare and transmit by December 31 of each year to the governor and the legislature an
annual report to include (a) a summary of agency activity under clause (3); (b) data determined by
the agency from actual cases, including but not limited to number of cases, actual compensation
received by each claimant, types of cases, and types of injuries compensated, as they relate to
types of harmful substances as well as length of exposure, but excluding identification of the
claimants; (c) all administrative costs associated with the business of the agency; and (d) agency
recommendations for legislative changes, further study, or any other recommendation aimed at
improving the system of compensation.
    Subd. 2. Powers. In addition to exercising any powers specified in sections 115B.25 to
115B.37 or in other law, the agency may:
(1) in reviewing a claim, consider any information relevant to the claim, in accordance with
the evidentiary standards contained in section 115B.35;
(2) contract for consultant or other services necessary to carry out the agency's duties under
sections 115B.25 to 115B.37;
(3) grant reasonable partial compensation on an emergency basis pending the final decision
on a claim if the claim is one with respect to which an award will probably be made and undue
hardship will result to the claimant if immediate payment is not made;
(4) limit access to information collected and maintained by the agency and take any other
action necessary to protect not public data as defined in section 13.02, subdivision 8a, and
protected information, in accordance with the limitations contained in section 115B.35.
    Subd. 3. Investigation; obtaining information. The agency may investigate any claim for
compensation and for this purpose it may require from the claimant and request from any person
information regarding any matter, fact, or circumstance which is relevant to determination of a
claim under section 115B.33. In exercising its powers under this subdivision, the agency may
collect information reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of evidence admissible under
section 115B.35. The agency shall reimburse the person requested to provide information the
actual cost of copies of documents, papers, samples, or other tangible items necessary to respond
to the request from the agency. In order to obtain this information the agency, subject to any
applicable privilege, may:
(a) request any person to produce documents, papers, books, or other tangible things in the
possession, custody, or control of that person;
(b) request the sworn testimony of any person as to any relevant fact or opinion;
(c) direct written questions to any person and request written answers and objections;
(d) request a mental or physical examination of the claimant or autopsy of any deceased
person whose death is the basis of the claim, provided that notice is given to the claimant and the
claimant receives a copy of the report; and
(e) request a waiver of medical privilege by the claimant.
The agency shall give written notice of any request under this subdivision at least 15 days
before the person is expected to comply with the request. If a person fails or refuses to comply
with a request for information relevant to the release of a harmful substance, the agency may issue
a subpoena for the production of the information and may petition the district court for an order
enforcing the subpoena. If a person fails or refuses to comply with a request for other information
relevant to determination of the claim, the agency may petition the district court for an order to
compel compliance with the request. If the claimant refuses to comply with a request by the
agency for information relevant to the claim, the agency may dismiss the claim.
    Subd. 4. Information from state agencies. In order to perform its duties, the agency may
request information from the supervising officer of any state agency or state institution of higher
education. When requesting health data as defined in section 13.3805, subdivision 1, or sections
144.671 to 144.69, the agency must submit a written release signed by the subject of the data or, if
the subject is deceased, a representative of the deceased, authorizing release of the data in whole
or in part. The supervising officer shall comply with the agency's request to the extent possible
considering available agency or institution appropriations and may assign agency or institution
employees to assist the agency in performing its duties under sections 115B.25 to 115B.37.
History: 1Sp1985 c 8 s 7; 1987 c 209 s 1; 1989 c 325 s 42,78; 1991 c 199 art 2 s 1; 1999 c
227 s 22; 2002 c 379 art 2 s 5