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New opinion: May 13 Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Supreme Court has issued a new opinion. 

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Zander, et al. v. Morsette 2021 ND 84
Docket No.: 20200211
Filing Date: 5/13/2021
Case Type: OTHER (Civil)
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: In a wrongful death action, a plaintiff is entitled to damages for injuries resulting from the death. Damages resulting from negligence preceding the death is not compensable under N.D.C.C. §§ 32-21-02 or 32-03.2-04.

At trial, relevant evidence is admissible, and irrelevant evidence is not admissible. Because the defendant admitted liability for the plaintiff’s damages, evidence of the defendant’s intoxication is not relevant in determining compensatory damages.

If a party fails to object to a jury instruction, this Court’s review is limited to whether a plain error exists in the instructions affecting substantial rights.

Punitive damages may be awarded against a defendant whose conduct is oppressive, fraudulent, or malicious. To support a punitive damages claim, the plaintiff must present sufficient evidence to support a finding that a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates conduct with a state of mind evincing an intent to harm or injure another person.