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We are pleased to announce that our partner Kellie L. Howard-Goudy has been named a 2017 Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s Women in the Law Award recipient. The selection criteria included commitment to excellence in the practice of law, inspiring and accomplished leadership in the profession, mentoring and significant contributions of time and effort to volunteer and pro bono activities. Howard-Goudy is one of 30 distinguished lawyers who were chosen to receive this prestigious award. Click on the headline to read the full announcement.

Attorneys Kari L. Melkonian and Jonathan B. Koch won summary disposition in favor of a hotel in a premises liability action arising out of an assault on a visitor at the premises. The plaintiff-visitor was assaulted by a hotel guest and sued the hotel under a premises liability theory that it had a duty to act in response to an allegedly reported threat. The Court dismissed plaintiff’s claims finding that there is no duty to anticipate or prevent the criminal acts of third-parties and that the hotel had no notice of any potential threat and therefore no duty to act.

Attorneys Kellie L. Howard-Goudy and Michael J. Cook obtained summary disposition on behalf of a public school district and the school itself, cutting off a multimillion dollar liability exposure. The plaintiff, arguing the case in Wayne County Circuit Court, asserted negligence and gross negligence claims based on a paralyzing injury he suffered during football practice. He claimed that the operation of the school football team was negligent and unauthorized. Howard-Goudy and Cook asserted and the Court agreed that the school district, which was an “educational authority” instead of a typical school district, was entitled to governmental immunity.

We are pleased to announce that our partner David C. Anderson has been elected to the board of commissioners of the State Bar of Michigan. The State Bar Board of Commissioners provides oversight to the various operations of the State Bar, such as finance, public policy, professional standards, and member services and communications. Anderson will represent District I (Oakland County), serving for a three-year term expiring at the close of the 2020 Annual Meeting. Click on the headline to read the full submission.

We are pleased to announce that Ann Coleman, a paralegal in the firm’s Asbestos/Toxic Tort practice group, has been given the State Bar of Michigan Paralegal/Legal Assistant Section’s Shining Star Award.

Coleman has been with the firm since 1989 as part of its Asbestos/Toxic Tort team and has been instrumental in implementing and maintaining the protocols, reporting requirements and litigation-tracking systems that are in place for the numerous entities where Collins Einhorn serves as National Coordinating Counsel. This is in addition to her having systems in place to provide the detail on Michigan plaintiffs, both past and present. In addition to her paralegal work, Coleman is heavily involved in community service as the firm’s lead on the United Way Fund Drive Committee and other charitable initiatives.

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC proudly announces the election of its partner Kari L. Melkonian to the Board of Directors for the Oakland County Bar Association (OCBA). Melkonian will be serving a three-year term beginning June 1, 2017. To read the full announcement, click on the headline.

Attorney Robert C. Tice won summary disposition in Wayne County Circuit Court for an employer in a workers’ compensation retaliation case. The plaintiff was terminated following a contested workplace injury and sought to return to her former position with ongoing work restrictions. Her employer determined that the ongoing work restrictions substantially interfered with expected job duties. Defendant’s motion to dismiss argued that the plaintiff’s subsequent termination was not related to her claim for worker’s compensation benefits, that she was not qualified for the position at the time of her termination by reason of her ongoing work restrictions and that no evidence demonstrated pretext for the legitimate reason she was terminated. Plaintiff’s counsel unsuccessfully argued that the prospect of a higher workers’ compensation premium and increased unemployment tax were sufficient evidence to define a prima facie case. Counsel sought more than $500,000 in damages.

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC is pleased to announce that attorney MaryRachel Dysarz has joined the firm’s General and Automotive Liability practice group. Ms. Dysarz focuses her practice on general liability and first- and third-party automotive defense. She provides clients with guidance through the litigation process, beginning from the discovery phase through trial. Ms. Dysarz has vast experience preparing and successfully arguing motions for summary disposition on behalf of clients. In addition to her automotive liability background, Dysarz has also handled medical/dental professional liability, premise liability, and general negligence cases.

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC is pleased to announce that attorney Kyle M. Dysarz has joined the firm’s Insurance Coverage practice group. Mr. Dysarz provides clients with formal opinions on the coverages afforded by commercial general liability, business owners, homeowners, and umbrella insurance policies, and he assists with drafting reservations of rights and declinations as needed. He also litigates declaratory judgment actions in connection with claims of bodily injury, property damage, construction defects, personal and advertising injury, and toxic torts. In addition to his focus on insurance coverage, Dysarz also has experience as a defense litigator and has handled a variety of complex disputes, including wrongful death claims, construction defect claims, and bad faith insurance claims.

Henry Ibe, an associate attorney at Collins Einhorn Farrell PC and experienced in Michigan no-fault and immigration matters, recently released an opinion piece on the topic of immigration in America. The article recently ran in the Detroit Legal News. Click on the headline to read the full submission.