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Attorney Kari L. Melkonian successfully defended a breach of contract and unfair collection practices claim on behalf of a cable services provider. Plaintiff filed suit in the 61st District Court seeking damages as a result of the company’s collection efforts. The matter proceeded to trial and the Court granted a directed verdict in favor of the defendant and dismissed plaintiff’s claims with prejudice.

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC announced today that 16 of its attorneys have been named to the 2017 Michigan Super Lawyers list, and an additional nine attorneys were named to the 2017 Michigan Rising Stars list. In addition, Melissa Graves and Noreen Slank have received additional distinctions. Click on headline for full details.

We are pleased to announce that attorney Jeffrey R. Hicks has joined the firm’s Professional Liability practice group. Hicks will focus his practice on professional liability defense. He has vast litigation experience, including all phases of the litigation process. He also has experience in preparing and successfully arguing motions for summary disposition and appeals on behalf of clients. In addition to his current professional liability work, Hicks has also handled auto/negligence liability, complex real property litigation, commercial litigation, and pharmaceutical liability defense. Click on the headline to read more.

Attorney Karen R. Geibel obtained multiple summary disposition rulings in favor of national insurance company in 3rd Circuit Court and 46th District Court. Numerous health care providers sued for services rendered to several patients arising out of an alleged auto accident in the insured’s vehicle. The patients’ claims were fraudulent as the insurer nor her vehicle was never in an auto accident. The providers’ claims were denied and ultimately each case dismissed as a matter of law.

Attorneys Scott Pawlak and Brian Catrinar obtained summary disposition on behalf of a no-fault insurer for medical expenses arising out of a motor vehicle accident. Following the accident, Plaintiff’s health insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield (through an ERISA plan), reimbursed plaintiff’s healthcare providers at a reduced amount pursuant to their provider participation agreements. Plaintiff then sought the difference between the Blue Cross reimbursement rate and the amount billed by the providers. Defendant argued – and the Court agreed – that the providers were statutorily bound to accept the reduced payments from Blue Cross as payment in full for their services. The Court held that because the providers were not entitled to pursue the differential, Plaintiff had not “incurred” those amounts and was therefore not entitled to recover the differential.

Attorney Matthew J. Zmijewski prevailed in his pursuit of Summary Disposition in favor of his client, a national insurance carrier. The plaintiff, seeking recovery of PIP Benefits under the Michigan No-Fault Act, submitted more than a dozen affidavits in support of her alleged physical disabilities and need/receipt of household assistance and personal nursing care. She later provided deposition testimony in furtherance of her allegations, contending the extent of her bodily injuries disabled her from activities such as driving, grocery shopping or styling her hair. Zmijewski petitioned the Macomb County Circuit Court to apply the “fraud exclusion” provision of his client’s insurance policy to preclude coverage entirely, highlighting direct and specific contradictions between the plaintiff’s affidavits and deposition testimony with surveillance footage depicting the plaintiff performing activities inconsistent with her claimed limitations – driving, grocery shopping and working as a hair stylist. The Court agreed and authored a written Opinion and Order applying the “fraud exclusion” provision and dismissing the plaintiff’s claims with prejudice. Zmijewski parlayed the favorable outcome, having sought the same relief with the Wayne County Circuit Court in a separate lawsuit filed by one of the plaintiff’s medical/service providers. The extra effort paid off as Zmijewski obtained dismissal of the medical/service provider’s claims against his client, which alone totaled more than $50,000.00.

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC is pleased to announce that 17 of its attorneys have been named to the 2018 edition of Best Lawyers in America©. In addition, three attorneys have received the high distinction of being named Metro Detroit’s 2018 “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers for their outstanding work. This marks the eighth year in a row that a Collins Einhorn lawyer has been so honored with this prestigious designation. Click on the headline to view the full list of recipients.

Attorneys Ashley S. Dickey and MaryRachel Dysarz won a summary disposition motion in favor of an automobile no-fault insurer on August 2, 2017. Plaintiff, a medical provider, claimed to be entitled to medical expenses, interest, and fees totaling $140,766.09, incurred on behalf of a claimant who was allegedly injured in an automobile accident. Pursuant to the Michigan Supreme Court decision in Covenant v State Farm Mut Automobile Ins Co, ___Mich___ (May 25, 2017)(Docket No. 152758), attorneys Dickey and Dysarz argued that a medical provider has no standing to sue under the No-Fault Act. The Oakland County Circuit Court agreed. The Court also found that the medical provider had an assignment from the claimant for 11 months but chose not to allow an amendment to its complaint because the medical provider did not request the amendment until the eve of trial. For these reasons, the Oakland County Circuit Court dismissed the medical provider’s case against the automobile no-fault insurer.

Click on the headline for full details of the outcome.

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC is pleased to announce that attorney Matthew S. LaBeau has joined the firm’s General and Automotive Liability practice group. LaBeau will focus his practice on the defense of first and third-party No-Fault claims, uninsured and underinsured motorist claims, automobile negligence, premises liability, general negligence, and contractual disputes. LaBeau has extensive experience in defending catastrophic No-Fault claims, as well consulting insurers regarding catastrophic claims prior to litigation. His background also includes involvement in all aspects of the litigation process from the discovery process through trial, routinely resulting in successful results for his clients. LaBeau has frequently made presentations throughout the State of Michigan on various topics relating to claims under the Michigan No-Fault Act, uninsured/underinsured motorist claims, and automobile negligence.

Peter J. Tomasek has joined the firm’s Appellate practice group. Tomasek will focus his practice on appellate litigation and writing dispositive motions in the trial courts. Before joining the firm, he worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Colleen A. O’Brien and as a research attorney with the Michigan Court of Appeals.