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Personal Injury Cases in the News

Personal Injury Cases in the News

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that the Estate of NHL player Derek Boogaard has filed a suit against the NHL attributing his personal injury to its unlawful practices. Specifically, it is alleged that Boogaard regarded as a hockey “enforcer” took up to 10 oxycodone pain killers a day, and that the league knew or should have known, that players with brain damage are at higher risk for drug addiction.

In Michigan, the usual remedy for an injury to a worker is under the Workers’ Compensation Act, MCL 418.131. Under this statute for a work related injury the general rule is that it is the worker’s exclusive remedy. Under the statute there is a trade off in that the worker’s rights to compensation are limited but are insured in that employers defenses of worker’s comparative fault are eliminated. This is true with respect to employer negligence. However, where the employee is able to establish much more than negligence, there is the intentional tort exception to the exclusive remedy rule.

For instance, in McNees v. Cedar Stampings, Co., 184 Mich App 101 (1990) allegations that an employee was injured by a defective foot pedal while operating a stamping press was sufficient to state a claim for intentional tort. That is because the employer was aware of the defect but still ordered the employee to operate the press while knowing that an injury was likely to occur under the circumstances.

If you or a loved one have been injured at work and need legal advice, please feel free to call Guy Vining. All initial consolations are free of charge and all injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis so that you have no obligation unless you prevail in the case.

Guy Vining practices personal injury law from his Metro-Detroit office in Taylor, Michigan. He has represented clients in personal injury actions for over 25 years in such areas as: car, boat, motorcycle, and truck accidents; slip, trip, and falls including black ice and defective design; medical and dental malpractice, denial of insurance benefits for wages, medical and home assistance to automobile accident victims.

Oppression of Minority Shareholders: What are Shareholder Rights?

Oppression of Minority Shareholders:

What are Shareholder Rights?

    As discussed in previous posts, a minority shareholder can bring an action against the directors and/or others that are in control of a corporation for illegal, fraudulent or oppressive conduct, MCL 450.1489.  Willfully oppressive conduct is defined by the statute as a continuing course of conduct or a significant action, or series of actions, that substantially interferes with the interest of the shareholder “as a shareholder.”


The question then arises as to what the interests of a shareholder are. In other words, what are the rights incidental a shareholder’s interests? Generally, speaking a shareholder’s rights in a close corporation consists of: the right to inspect the books and records and for a reasonable accounting; the right to vote and participate in management of the corporation; and, the right to receive a share of the profits of the business. These rights are based upon statutes and the common law of Michigan.


More recently, by amendment of the Shareholder Oppression Statute, MCL 450.1489, the Legislature has added employment security in certain circumstances. It has been amended to add the following language: “Willfully unfair and oppressive conduct may include the termination of employment or limitations on employment benefits to the extent that the actions interfere with distributions or other shareholder interest disproportionately as to the affected shareholder.”


These are the types of rights which if violated in a significant way or on a continuous basis may form a minority shareholder oppression case pursuant to MCL 450. 1489. In blog postings to follow we will examine some of the cases when oppressive acts have been found and not found under the shareholder oppression statute.


In the meantime, it is interesting to note that Michigan has a long history prior to the Shareholder Oppression Statute protecting minority shareholders. One of the interesting cases is Dodge Brothers v. Ford Motor, Co., 204 Mich 459 (1919). In that case the minority shareholders requested and received a court order requiring Henry Ford (majority holder) to declare and pay a significant dividend to the minority shareholders. The Michigan Supreme Court noted that Ford’s refusal appeared to be arbitrary because the company had consistent profits and was at the time cash rich. Apparently, Mr. Ford’s reluctance may have had something to do with keeping his competitors from receiving money that they would use to compete against him. In any event, in equity, because the purpose of an investment is to make money, the Michigan Courts for over 90 years now, have ordered dividends paid in an appropriate case.

[Guy Vining, an attorney, in metro-Detroit, maintains his office in Taylor, Michigan, where he serves the local communities and the tri-county area. If you or a family member of friend would like a no-obligation no cost consultation, just call or E-mail Guy Vining of Vining Law Group, P.L.C to schedule a meeting.]