HASKIN V GERACE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY (1997, Midland County—co-tried with Attorney John van Benschoten) $2,100,000 verdict. Midland jury awarded victim of handicap discrimination $2,100,000 for loss of job. Haskin, the company star superintendent, wanted to come back to work after suffering a low back injury, but the company refused to let him do his old job. Social Significance: Enforced our discrimination law, and forced company to change its policies.
WOJAHN V VIENNA TOWNSHIP AND ANTHONY McKERCHIE (2007, Federal Court, Judge Denise Page Hood) $687,750 verdict based on First Amendment retaliation. Social Significance: You can fight City Hall and win!
FILLMORE V CITIZENS BANK (2004, Genesee County) $715,000 verdict. White supervisor of bank policy which resulted in black customers being singled out for thumb printing, but not white customers, protested unfairness of policy to bank. Bank fired the supervisor, then made up a cover story that the supervisor was a “thief” and “Simon Legree” supervisor to his employees. Citizens further tried to “blackball” the supervisor from getting bank repo work when supervisor tried to develop private repo business. Social Significance: Enforced our discrimination laws against a powerful bank, and “cleared name” of innocent supervisor who had been branded a “thief” and “Simon Legree boss” unfairly.
LEONARD V RADIO STATION (1999, Genesee County) $550,000 verdict. Whistleblower Protection Act claim of good citizen and Samaritan Robert Leonard, whose radio show was going to blow the whistle on a local bar serving alcohol to minors, many of whom later were seriously injured. Bar was big $$ sponsor of the radio station. Social Significance: Enforced Whistleblower Protection Act, and vindicated the honor and good name of Robert Leonard, former premier prosecuting attorney for Genesee County for many years.
POLICE CHIEF JOEL DOBIS V CITY OF ZILWAUKEE (2005, Saginaw County) (Confidentiality Agreement against disclosing dollar amount). 22-year Chief of Police of Zilwaukee, with two silver stars in the line of duty as a Zilwaukee police officer, unjustly fired for “cell phone abuse”! Social Significance: Enforced our civil rights law, vindicated the Chief’s honor and “cleared his name”, as well as purged his personnel file of bogus charges against him, and gave him a new start in life (who was 44 years old).
POLICE CHIEF TERRY VANKEUREN V ARGENTINE TWP. (2008, Genesee County) $655,000 settlement. Chief of Police of Argentine Township unjustly fired for refusing to cover up/go along with exposing women motorists to sexual abuse dangers. Social Significance: Enforced our civil rights law, protected women motorists, vindicated the Chief’s honor and “cleared his name” and gave him a clean slate to seek other employment given his numerous skills and professionalism.
HANCOCK V WESTWOOD HEIGHTS SCHOOL DISTRICT (2008, Genesee County, Judge Fullerton) $300,000 verdict. 20-year teacher/administrator Mark Hancock and alum of Westwood Heights was a victim of reverse gender discrimination, in that women less qualified than him were promoted, while he was demoted. Social Significance: Enforced our civil rights law prohibiting reverse gender discrimination and vindicated long-time employee’s, and alum’s, honor.
WHITMAN V MAYOR SMILEY & CITY OF BURTON (2009, Genesee County, Judge Neithercut) $232,500 verdict. Police Chief Bruce Whitman’s name is cleared. He was fired for doing his job and enforcing a law Defendant Mayor wanted to violate. Social Significance: You can fight City Hall and win!
- On May 1, 2013 the Michigan Supreme Court found in Police Chief Whitman's favor after hearing arguments from the attorneys --More Details--
GARVIN V DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS (April, 2010, Wayne County, Judge Gillis). $750,000 verdict. Former teacher Beverly Garvin’s good name and reputation cleared. Fired for reporting sexual abuse of students. Social Significance: Teachers who protect and stand up for the rights for students being sexually abused at home and at school will themselves be protected.
GARVIN V ANDERSON, ET, AL. (November, 2013, Wayne County, Judge Gillis). $721,400 verdict. This case was retried after the Michigan Court of Appeals dismissed the School District and remanded it for a new trial. Social Significance: Jurors in Michigan still agree that teachers who protect and stand up for the rights for students being sexually abused at home and at school will themselves be protected, and said so with a 2nd verdict of over $720,000.
SOME OF THE FIRM'S PERSONAL INJURY/TORT HIGHLIGHTS:
STEVENS, ET AL V CITY OF FLINT (2006, Genesee County, Judge Fullerton) $1,200,000 verdict in trespass nuisance case when the City of Flint caused raw sewage to back up into 7 Plaintiffs’ homes, destroying their property. Social Significance: When they could not get justice from the City, they got it from a Genesee County jury.
BROWN V THYGESEN (2000, Genesee County) $815,000 verdict, reduced to $520,000 because of comparative negligence. Young 21 year old mother suffered severe and substantial injuries when her car was t-boned by a speeding truck. Social Significance: Enforced our traffic safety laws and got private monetary justice for severely injured young mother.
GOINS V CONNERLY (1984, Genesee County) $535,000 verdict. Young woman whose car was t-boned by a tractor trailer rig, and she suffered severe and substantial injuries. Social Significance: Enforced our traffic safety laws, and got monetary justice for this young woman.
SABO V TONEY (2007, Genesee County, Judge Yuille) $122,500 verdict. Mike Sabo’s hand and arm became badly infected when his sister’s cat, “Randy,” bit him. He spent 2 weeks in the hospital and 2 ½ months lost work. Social Significance: Vietnam veteran rights vindicated when hurt by pets gone wild.
- Michigan Lawyers Weekly Write-Up
- NBCNews.com Article: "Ill-tempered cat bite worth more than $122,000"
- USA Today Article: "Michigan man gets $122K for cat bite"
HOFFMEYER V KANG, ET AL (2008, Genesee County, Judge Fullerton) $100,000 verdict. 58-year old woman Bonnie Hoffmeyer had her appendix removed—twice! Dr. Kang’s inept 1st surgery left Bonnie with a gangrenous infection which required a 2nd surgery to remove the rest of the appendix Dr. Kang hadn’t removed. Social Significance: Enforced our right to proper medical care and brought to light doctors who make mistakes and do not want to admit or correct them.
SOME OF THE FIRM'S COMMERCIAL LITIGATION HIGHLIGHTS:
SZIKSZAY V SZIKSZAY FAMILY FARMS, INC. (Jan. 2007, Berrien County Circuit Court). $1,102,500 settlement for Plaintiff Wayne Szikszay, a minority shareholder, who had his rights vindicated. The defendant was a family-owned corporation, Szikszay Family Farms, Inc., and the majority shareholders were the plaintiff’s brothers. Minority Shareholder Oppression gives any shareholders powerful weapons to protect their interests, including a right to obtain corporation papers, and even dissolution of the company. The plaintiff also brought causes of action under Michigan law for: common law fraud, conversion, and breach of fiduciary duties .
- Michigan Lawyers Weekly Write-Up: "Minority shareholder action settles for $1.1M – Family-owned business set brothers against each other"
GRAND BLANC RACQUETBALL & FITNESS COURT CENTER FIRE LOSS SETTLEMENT (2008, Genesee County) $1,200,000+ fire loss settlement. Social Significance: While television and newspapers sullied the insured’s business owner’s good name and reputation by raising suspicion of “arson”, it was not arson, as the settlement proves. The insurance company was made to pay in accordance with its written promises, which it was paid significant money to make. The insurance settlement was published in the newspapers, and vindicated the business owner’s honor and “cleared his name”, to the extent that was possible given the previous bad press and television coverage. It also gave him a new start in life, as he was a young businessman proud to be a member of the business community.
PLUS MANY OTHER TRIAL AND SETTLEMENT HIGHLIGHTS - Many IN EXCESS OF SIX FIGURES - BUT DUE TO CONFIDENTIALITY THEY CANNOT BE LISTED.