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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.

Employment Cases in the News

Employment Cases in the News


     The Statesman Journal (Oregon) recently reported that a government employee filed a claim for public policy discharge against her employer. In Michigan a discharge against public policy is an exception to the employment at will rule. Generally, an employee, not in a union, or not protected by a written contract has no protection against non-discriminatory discharges.


     However, in Michigan even such an at-will employee may not be terminated for the employer’s violation of a public policy. For an example, an employee may not be fired for refusing to violate the law. Such a case was Trombetta v. Detroit, T&IR, Co., 81 Mich App 489 (1979). In fact, it expressly affirmed the following principal:


“Such a cause of action has been found to be implied where the alleged reason for the discharge of the employee was failure or refusal to violate a law in the course of employment. Thus, in [citation omitted], the Court said that it would be impermissible to discharge an employee for refusing to falsify pollution control reports that were required to be filed with the state.”


“This court has recognized exceptions to the well established rule that at-will employment contracts are terminable at any time for any reason by either party. These exceptions were created to present individuals from contravening the public policy of this state. It is without question that the public policy of this state does not condone attempts to violate its duly enacted laws.”


     If you or a loved one have been fired for refusing to follow an illegal order at work, call Guy Vining.


Guy Vining has practiced law throughout the state of Michigan. His office is located in the downriver city of Taylor where he primarily serves the Metro-Detroit area. He has represented employers and employees in employment litigation in the trial court and the appellate courts in the following areas: whistleblower, breach of contract, public policy, discrimination, wage and hour violation, covenants not to compete, Americans with disabilities action and retaliation