Joseph Giacalone recently obtained summary disposition on 4 counts of negligence and gross negligence against clients of the firm, the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation and its employee bus driver, related to a 2020 motor vehicle accident. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants were both negligent and grossly negligent in relation to the motor vehicle accident. After several months of discovery, Mr. Giacalone filed a motion for summary disposition asserting that the plaintiffs failed to serve written notice on the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation of an intent to sue for bodily injury damages under MCL 124.419 for either defendant, and that the plaintiffs had failed to meet their burden to show the bus driver’s actions amount to gross negligence, as required under MCL 691.1407. After oral arguments, the judge agreed and dismissed all four counts of negligence and gross negligence with prejudice.
Sajid Islam successfully obtained summary disposition of a 12-count complaint against a client of the firm. The plaintiff alleged various legal theories, including first-party no-fault benefits, negligent construction, nuisance, unconscionability, conversion, breach of contract and collision damages. After several months of discovery, Sajid filed a motion for summary disposition asserting that the plaintiffs did not have standing to pursue certain claims. He also argued that the plaintiffs could not prove that his client owned, constructed, installed or removed the property that the plaintiffs alleged gave rise to a claim of negligent construction, nuisance and conversion. After oral arguments, the judge agreed and dismissed all 12 counts of the complaint.
The Shareholders of Vandeveer Garzia are pleased to announce the elevation of the following attorneys to Executive Partners of the firm:
Stephanie L. Arndt
Matthew J. Chapin
Michelle L. Everett and
David Q. Houbeck.
In addition, we are pleased to announce the elevation of Salman Islam to Partner.
Each of these Partners have shown that they are very capable lawyers, proven leaders and are individuals who are a tremendous asset to the firm and the future of the firm. We congratulate each of these Partners on their elevation and look forward to their continued work here at Vandeveer Garzia.
Vandeveer Garzia staff celebrated the holiday at a holiday walk and lunch at Meadowbrook Hall in Rochester, Michigan this past week. The group enjoyed an elegant meal in a private dining room, followed by a tour of the 110-room 88,000 square foot mansion, which was beautifully decorated for the holidays, displaying 50 magnificently decorated trees. The event provided a special opportunity for our staff to gather and have some fun together to celebrate another year.
Rick Patterson and Sajid Islam prevailed in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals after Sajid Islam obtained summary judgment of a plaintiff’s claim for $1,000,000 in underinsured motorist benefits. Rick and Sajid argued that the district court judge properly granted summary judgment of plaintiff’s claims as plaintiff had made material misrepresentations and committed fraud in connection with his claim for underinsured motorist benefits. After oral arguments in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court issued an Opinion affirming the district court’s holding that the plaintiff made material misrepresentations and committed fraud in connection with his claim, and that underinsured motorist coverage was therefore excluded under the terms of the policy.
Adam Gordon, Samantha Boyd, and Candice Cosby obtained summary disposition of Plaintiff’s and Cross-Plaintiff’s claims against their clients, insurance providers in an action pending in the Oakland County Circuit Court.
Plaintiff sought first-party No-Fault Benefits and underinsured motorist benefits, while Cross-Plaintiff, an additional insurance provider, claimed that it was not highest in the order of priority for the payment of No-Fault Benefits to or on behalf of Plaintiff, and requested reimbursement for all amounts owed to Plaintiff.
Ms. Cosby prepared and argued the Motion for Summary Disposition, asserting that proper notice had not been provided to her clients as set forth in MCL 500.3145(1), as notice had not been provided until 22 months following the subject accident. In addition, Ms. Cosby argued that pursuant to MCL 500.3114, her clients were not highest in the order of priority. More specifically it was argued that, Plaintiff was not the named in the policy issued by her clients, was not married, and was not domiciled at the policyholder’s household.
The Court ruled that Cross-Plaintiff was the insurer in the highest order of priority relative to the Plaintiff’s No-Fault Benefits claims and further ruled that Plaintiff was not domiciled at the policyholder’s household. Plaintiff’s and Cross-Plaintiff’s Complaints were thereafter dismissed.
Cassidy Capoferri’s Law Review Note has been selected for publication by the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review. Cassidy’s student Note will be published in Detroit Mercy’s upcoming 100th volume. The topic of the Note is tort liability for fully autonomous vehicles in relation to potential cyber attacks. Cassidy is a rising 3L at the University of Detroit Mercy Law School, where she serves as the Executive Editor of Inside Articles for the Law Review. Cassidy has worked as a clerk at Vandeveer Garzia for the last year and made the decision to write her Note on the topic of tort law because of her work at the firm.
Veronica Prange obtained summary disposition of Plaintiff’s claims against her client, Hanover Insurance Group, in a lawsuit in which Plaintiff sought a declaration from the Circuit Court that Hanover Insurance Group was the insurer in the highest order of priority to pay the underlying Claimant’s First Party No-Fault benefits. Ms. Prange filed a Motion for Summary Disposition and a Supplemental Brief in Support of the Motion arguing that because the Claimant was an uninsured pedestrian on the date of the subject matter accident and the accident itself took place after the statutory amendments to MCL 500.3114(1) and MCL 500.3115 went into effect on June 11, 2019, Plaintiff was the insurer in the highest order of priority to pay the Claimant’s No-Fault benefits. In addition, Ms. Prange argued that there were no applicable exceptions to the statutory provisions, regardless of the substance of a Michigan Assigned Claims Plan bulletin on which Plaintiff heavily relied. On the date of the hearing on Ms. Prange’s Motion, the Court waived oral argument and instead read an opinion and order onto the record that agreed with Defendant Hanover’s arguments, affirming that the Court was bound by the amended versions of MCL 500.3114(1) and MCL 500.3115 and there were no applicable exceptions to the same. The Court ruled that Plaintiff was the insurer in the highest order of priority relative to the Claimant’s No-Fault claims and that Hanover Insurance Group was not in the order of priority whatsoever.
Veronica Prange successfully obtained summary disposition of a Plaintiff’s entire lawsuit against her client, the Estate of a deceased insured, for third party damages resulting from a motor vehicle accident that took place in October 2016. After having a default against the Estate set aside, Ms. Prange filed a Motion for Summary Disposition in lieu of an Answer to the Amended Complaint. She argued that process issued in the matter was insufficient, service of process was insufficient and improper, and the Court never obtained jurisdiction over the Estate, as the Personal Representative was the real party in interest and was never named in the Amended Complaint, a summons never issued as to the Personal Representative, and she was never served with the Amended Complaint. In addition, Ms. Prange argued that, even if the Court deemed service sufficient in the matter, Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint named a new party, the Estate, and did not relate back to the filing of the original complaint. Ultimately, the Court agreed with the Defendant Estate on all points and entered an Order dismissing Plaintiff’s claims.
Adam Gordon and Candice Cosby obtained voluntary dismissal of Plaintiff’s uninsured and underinsured motorist benefits claim following filing a Motion for Summary Disposition arguing that the policy did not provide for said benefits. Additionally, it was argued that the Plaintiff’s Complaint was filed outside of the statute of limitations as provided by MCL 600.5805(2).