Lawyer for 40+ Years
Recently, I received a mediation award of $750,000 for neck and shoulder injuries suffered by a truckdriver when his tractor-trailer was hit by a train. He was a member of Teamsters Local 614. The train was being “shoved” into a dock, through a road crossing which had no signals to warn vehicles to stop. The accident happened because the railroad’s flagman – who was required by federal law to stay at the crossing and flag down trucks and cars and get them to stop as the train approached – walked away from the crossing long before the train got there. At the same time, the locomotive engineer violated federal law by not stopping short of the crossing. My client was permanently injured and will never return to truck driving. In addition to settling the negligence suit against the railroad, I also got him no fault benefits, which he was entitled to because his truck was hit by the train, and worker’s compensation benefits.
In 2017, Marshall Lasser won a no fault case in the Michigan Supreme Court against Farm Bureau Insurance. Daniel Kemp had been denied no fault benefits when he injured his back while standing outside his truck and lifting out of it his work clothes and briefcase. The trial court and Court of Appeals threw out the case, holding that the injury did not arise out of the use of the truck; Lasser appealed to the Supreme Court. The court held oral argument (a rarity), reversed the lower courts, and held that the injury did arise from use of the truck. The court awarded several hundred thousand dollars of wage loss benefits to Mr. Kemp.
For the first time in the United States, this decision permnitted a federal RICO suit against a doctor, employer and insurance claim adjuster who allegedly fraudulently denied workers compensation benefits, or wrote false medical reports which were used to deny benefits to Teamster truckdrivers. Then, the US Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of Cassens (trucking company employer), Crawford and Co (claims adjusting company), and Dr. Margules (author of allegedly fraudulent medical reports).
The Michigan Supreme Court unanimously approved a suit by injured construction worker against general contractor who allegedly failed to take reasonable measures to prevent injury to workers in a common work area.
The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld a verdict in favor of a Teamster truckdriver who slipped on ice, fractured his pelvis, and could never again do his job. This, despite the great difficulty under Republican-dominated courts – with pro-insurance company judges appointed by Govs. John Engler or Dick Snyder – of winning cases involving falls on ice.
After nearly 10 years of legal wrangling, the Michigan Court of Appeals awarded workers compensation benefits to a Local 25 Ironworker who was injured dismantling a gantry crane while working for an uninsured contractor. The company that owned the crane awarded my client $400,000 in benefits.
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