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Family of late Rep. Jim Hagedorn sues Jennifer Carnahan over treatment costs

Rep. Hagedorn's mother, stepfather and sister have filed two separate lawsuits saying they haven't been reimbursed for medical expenses.

The family of the late Rep. Jim Hagedorn are suing his widow Jennifer Carnahan, claiming she hasn't reimbursed them for money used toward Hagedorn's cancer treatment not covered by insurance, according to court documents.

Kathleen Kreklau, Hagedorn's mother, and Robert Kreklau, Hagedorn's stepfather, say they provided money to help cover costs of medical treatment at Envita Medical Centers in Scottsdale, Arizona. Documents say that Hagedorn asked Kathleen and Robert Kreklau for money to help cover medical costs, adding that if the treatments were successful, they would be reimbursed "when cash flow allowed," and if the treatment was unsuccessful, Hagedorn said the inheritance would be used to reimburse them.

According to court documents, Mayo Clinic informed Hagedorn that they had "exhausted its options for treating his cancer." Hagedorn and Carnahan then decided to continue treatment at Envita in Scottsdale, Ariz, court document say.

Kathleen and Robert Kreklautook took out a loan on the equity of their home for $25,000, according to court documents, with $10,383 going toward medical treatment.

Hagedorn died on Feb. 17, 2022 following a battle with kidney cancer.

According to court documents, Carnahan "made a clear and definite promise" to repay Kathleen and Robert Kreklau for any money used toward Hagedorn's treatment at Envita. Court documents show Carnahan received a death benefit of $174,0000 from the U.S. Congress and an additional $174,000 from a life insurance policy.

Tricia Lucas, Hagedorn's sister, is also suing Carnahan, stating she had paid $10,000 for treatment at Envita, and Carnahan "clearly and definitively promised" to reimburse Lucas.

Hagedorn, who was in the midst of his second term representing the First District in southern Minnesota, first announced he was being treated for Stage 4 kidney cancer in February of 2020. He had surgery that was deemed successful, but the cancer returned in July of 2021.

Carnahan, who announced in March that she will run for Minnesota's first district, called the lawsuits "a political stunt," and added that the estate first needs to go through the probate process in the courts to determine how it's divided. The full statement reads:

"Grief affects everyone differently. Handling the affairs of my husband's estate should be a private matter. It's unfortunate a very simple process has been turned into a political stunt. Jim’s estate is required to go through the probate process and the courts will determine the disposition of assets in accordance with Minnesota law. There is nothing further we are allowed to do at this time. I wish Jim's family well and know this time has been very difficult for all of us."

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