MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A judge dismissed several counts Wednesday in the $100 million wrongful death lawsuit filed by Korey Stringer's widow against the Minnesota Vikings, but his order didn't affect the most important claims in the case.
Hennepin County District Judge Gary Larson granted every motion by attorneys for the Vikings and other defendants who argued at a hearing in December that several counts in the complaint weren't permitted under Minnesota law.
A hearing is scheduled for March 4 on a separate Vikings' motion to dismiss the remaining three counts against the team.
Stringer, 27, a 335-pound Pro Bowl offensive lineman, died Aug. 1, 2001, of complications from heatstroke after collapsing on the second day of training camp. His body temperature was measured at 108.8 degrees at a hospital 15 hours before his death.
Paul DeMarco, attorney for Kelci Stringer, said Larson's ruling didn't affect the core of their case and said he expects it to proceed to trial as scheduled June 9.
Vikings attorney James O'Neal said the team was pleased that Larson ruled for it on every motion at issue in Wednesday's order, which dealt solely with questions of law. He said the counts he plans to challenge in March involve questions of law and the facts and whether they justify going to trial.
"We believe the motions indicate the house of cards is beginning to tumble and we look forward to being able to address the facts in detail on March Fourth," O'Neal said.
The remaining claims allege that Vikings employees were grossly negligent, that the Vikings organization was responsible for that and that the Vikings intentionally caused emotional distress to the Stringer family. There are also some remaining claims against the team's doctors.
"We think those claims are in no way supported by the facts and that they are barred by Minnesota law relating to workers' compensation," O'Neal said.
Under the state's workers' compensation laws, employees injured on the job or their families are prevented from suing an employer or co-employees for death or injury, except in cases of gross negligence or intentional harm.
The Vikings paid Kelci Stringer her husband's salary for the full 2001 season and agree she is entitled to workers' compensation. But she says the Vikings owe her much more, including the two years that were left on his contract, which would amount to $8 million to $10 million.
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