News 09.19.16

Spine Specialists of Michigan Ordered to Pay Attorney’s Fees in Wayne County Case

On September 13, 2016 the Wayne County Circuit Court (Judge Kathleen Macdonald) granted attorney’s fees in favor of American Country Insurance Company and against Spine Specialists of Michigan, American Anesthesia Associates and Plaintiff, Carolyn Anderson. The total award was in excess of $36,000.00.  Notably, Dr. Louis Radden is the principal and registered agent for Spine Specialists. 

In this matter, Anderson was driving a vehicle owned by her employer, a transportation company, when the accident occurred in September 2014. The vehicle was insured by American Country Insurance Company (“American Country”) which was primary for personal protection insurance (PIP) benefits. Anderson alleged that after the accident, she needed almost constant care and was unable to bathe, use the bathroom or perform common household chores on her own. Plaintiff even claimed wage loss because of the injuries she alleged to have suffered during the accident. After reviewing more than 20,000 pages of medical records, it was discovered that Anderson had received treatment and household help for several years prior to the accident. Furthermore, Anderson had been receiving Social Security Disability benefits for years before the accident, despite her denial of same when she applied to receive benefits from American Country, which included a claim for wage loss. Anderson had many previous injuries to her spine and neck, including undergoing surgery and being recommended for a second surgery which was never performed.

Judge Macdonald found that Anderson’s fraudulent action triggered the no-fault fees statute (MCL 500.3148) prompting the award of fees to American Country. The Court also noted that in addition to attorney’s fees, American Country was entitled to recover paralegal fees incurred by it as well.

American Country Insurance Company is a national preferred specialty insurer for non-emergency medical transport vehicles, limousines and taxis.  American Country is a subsidiary of Atlas Financial Holdings, Inc. which is traded on NASDAQ.  American Country retained Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney attorneys David J. Yates, Eric P. Conn and Stephanie B. Burnstein to defend the Anderson matter.