City of Lakeville Wins Appeal in Deer-Crash Lawsuit 04 Aug 11

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has sided with the city of Lakeville in a lawsuit over a 2009 crash involving a city vehicle, a citizen, and a deer.

Two Lakeville employees were driving for city work in Burnsville in October 2009 when a deer bounded into the driver’s door and window. The 39-year-old driver, Timothy Klausler, was knocked out, and the vehicle drifted into the northbound lanes, where it collided with a car driven by 40-year-old Burnsville resident Angelique Curtis.

Klausler and Curtis were injured, and Curtis sued the city, claiming Klausler negligently failed to see the deer.

A Dakota County District Court judge initially ruled in favor of Curtis, but the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday reversed that ruling. The appellate judges said the city of Lakeville is entitled to immunity, and a city can’t be sued when a wild animal has a substantial role in a collision.