115B.414 THIRD-PARTY CLAIMS; MEDIATION; DEFENSE.
Subdivision 1. Third-party claims; definition.
For the purposes of this section, "third-party
claims" means claims made against mixed municipal solid waste generators by a responsible
person or group of responsible persons under state or federal law for payment of response costs
and related costs at a qualified facility, when the claimant or claimants do not produce evidence,
other than statistical or circumstantial evidence, that the persons against whom the claims
are made ever arranged for disposal or transported for disposal mixed municipal solid waste
containing a hazardous substance or pollutant or contaminant to the facility.
Subd. 2. Mediation.
A third-party claim or group of third-party claims that all arise from
the same facility may be submitted to the Minnesota Office of Dispute Resolution for mediation
under the Minnesota Civil Mediation Act, sections
. The costs of mediation must
be allocated equally between the person or persons against whom the claims are made and the
person or persons making the claims.
Subd. 3. Partial reimbursement.
A person or persons against whom one or more third-party
claims are made may seek reimbursement from the commissioner of one-half of the costs of
mediation allocated to the person or persons under subdivision 2. The commissioner shall
reimburse the person or persons that request reimbursement unless the commissioner finds that
the mediation was not entered into and conducted in good faith by the person or persons seeking
Subd. 4. Defense costs.
If a person or persons against whom one or more third-party claims
are made request the person or persons making the claims to submit the claims to mediation and
the claimants refuse to submit to mediation or if the person or persons against whom third-party
claims are made enter into and conduct the mediation in good faith but the mediation fails to
resolve the claims, the person or persons, in cooperation with other persons against whom
third-party claims have been made that arise from the same facility, may retain legal counsel to
defend them against the claims and may seek partial reimbursement from the commissioner for
reasonable attorney fees. The commissioner shall provide partial reimbursement for reasonable
attorney fees under this subdivision of $75 per hour for a maximum number of hours to be
established by the commissioner by rule. The maximum number of hours for reimbursement must
increase as the number of persons who collectively retain legal counsel to defend against related
claims increases but need not increase proportionately to the increase in the number of persons
seeking collective defense. Under no circumstances may a person or group of persons receive
reimbursement of more than 75 percent of their reasonable attorney fees under this subdivision.
History: 1994 c 639 art 1 s 8