Case Type of Suit Court Result
Cockrell v Locher Auto BI OCCC Plaintiff appealed from an Order of the Oakland County Circuit Court dismissing her case due to discovery violations. Plaintiff argued on appeal that her counsel had “abandoned” her during the pendency of her litigation, an “extraordinary circumstance” warranting reversal under MCR 2.612. Defendant argued that Plaintiff did not meet her burden of proof for reversal under MCR 2.612, and that her counsel had been fully engaged during her lawsuit. After hearing oral argument, the Court of Appeals held that Plaintiff’s former counsel did not “abandon” her case, warranting relief under MCR 2.612, and affirmed the lower court’s decision. See  Cockrell v Locher, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, Docket No. 327434, Decided, August 18, 2016. 2016 WL 4419899.
Moreno v City of Detroit Auto PIP/BI WCCC Defendant filed an emergency Motion to Compel an independent medical examination of Plaintiff under MCL 500.3151 and MCR 2.311(A) after its neuropsychological expert, Dr. Manfred Greiffenstein unexpectedly passed away less than a month before trial. Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Annette Berry denied Defendant’s Motion, reasoning that Defendant could hire another neuropsychological expert to testify at the time of trial, but could not subject the Plaintiff to another IME.   The Court of Appeals held that the unexpected death of Defendant’s expert was “good cause” under MCR 2.311(A) to compel an additional neuropsychological IME, and overturned the Circuit Court’s ruling prior to trial. 
Harbin v. Stauder Dog Bite COA Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against her neighbor’s landlord (the Firm's client) alleging that the landlord was liable after her tenant's dog bit her child. The landlord had only learned of the dog’s prescence on the property a few days before the incident, and no evidence was presented that the dog was previosuly vicious. Stauder appealed the Trial Court's denial of her Motion for Summary Disposition. The Court of Appeals reversed the Trial Court and held that; 1) the landlord did not have control of the property, 2) the landlord did not have knowledge that the dog was a pitbull, and 3) that a local ordinance could not be used to impute knowledge of the dog's tendencies to the landlord.
Hensley-Panicaccia v. State Farm PIP COA Plaintiff appealed a no cause verdict the Firm obtained in a first party no fault benefits case and alleged that the special jury instructions she requested, regarding causation and wage loss benefits, should have been presented to the jury. The Court of Appeals upheld the no cause verdict, finding that the special jury instructions were unneccesary as the standard jury instructions accutrately and fully stated the applicable law.
Cash v. Woodward Ave. Associates Premises Liability COA The Firm appealed the denial of the Motion for Summary Disposition it filed on behalf of its client, a landlord, in this premises liability case where Plaintiff sued after tripping over a two inch raised crack in a concrete sidewalk. The Court of Appeals reversed the Trial Court's decision and held that the sidewalk was fit for its intended use pursuant to MCL 554.139, and that the height differential in the sidewalk was an open and obvious hazard.
v. State Farm
PIP COA The Firm appealed the granting of attorney fees by the Trial Court in a first party no fault benefits case after the Plaintiff obtained an $11,000- verdict on the basis that the Trial Court did not engage in a fact specific inquiry into the reasonableness of the attorney fee. The Court of Appeals vacated the award of attorney fees and the case was remanded to the Trial Court.
v. State Farm
PIP COA Plaintiff appealed at the Trial Court's denial of her Motion for Directed Verdict/New Trial after the Firm obtained a no cause verdict on behalf of its client in a first party no fault benefits case. Plaintiff alleged that judicial admissions had been made in her favor at trial, and also alleged the jury should have been given her special proposed Verdict Form. The Court of Appeals denied Plaintiff's request and upheld the Trial Court's decision.
Monat v. State Farm PIP SC Plaintiff filed a first party no fault case and a third party negligence action. A no cause verdict was entered against the Plaintif in the third party action after the jury found that Plaintiff did not sustain an injury in the subject accident. Thereafter, the Firm filed a Motion for Summary Disposition in the first party action on the basis that the doctrine of collateral estoppel warranted the dismissal of the first party claim because the Plaintiff litigated and lost the issue of injury in the third party action. The Trial Court denied the motion and the Court of Appeals, in a split opinion, affirmed the Trial Court's decision. The Michigan Supreme Court ultimatel reversed the Court of Appeals decision and held that, where collateral estoppel is asserted defensively against a party who had a full and fair opportunity to litigate the issue, the mutuality element of collateral estoppel is not required.