News & Notes

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Bar Liability. Bouncer shot by patron. Paralysis. No Insurance on the Bar. Settlement $230,000.00

Bar Liability. Patron assaulted outside of a bar by other customers resulting in bi-malleolar fracture. Bar held liable for failing to expedite the police in a reasonable time after learning of threats being made to the patron while in the bar. Settlement $125,000.00

Wrongful Death. Grandmother fatally shoots her grandson. Court holds homeowners insurance not required to cover the actions of the grandmother. Judgment entered in favor of child’s estate $250,000.00.

Excess Force. Police dispatched to home of man for “welfare check.” A foot chase ensues culminating in man being tackled resulting in pelvic fracture. No charges filed. Settlement $100,000.00

Excess Force. Sheriff deputy called to home of woman at the request of an ex-boyfriend to assist in the retrieval of his personal belongings. While in the home, the deputy pushes woman over a recliner chair resulting in rotator cuff tear of the shoulder requiring arthroscopic repair. Settlement $135,000.00

$1,000,000.00 Settlement Product Liability Claim

In 1995, Michigan passed a comprehensive Tort Reform Act that essentially eliminated Product Liability claims in our state. Despite this draconian legislation, Attorney, Vince Colella, succesfully litigated and ultimately settled this product liablity case in the amount of $1,000,000.00 for his client.  The claim arose out of a horrible tragedy.  The client, a school teacher, wife and mother, sustained serious and permanent 3rd degree burns to 22 % of her upper body, chest, arms, neck, face and ears when a citronella fire pot exploded in her presence. The fuel gel was known to the maufacturer to burn an invisible flame.  Despite the known design flaws and warnings from the Consumer Product Safety Commisssion, the fire pot and fuel gel were continued to be sold in retail chain stores across the country for months after the warnings were posted.

$500,000.00 case evaluation award for wheel chair assisted woman injured in rapid bus stop. SMART bus company denied liability for its driver when she failed to place her passenger in a shoulder restraint before transporting the woman in her wheel chair to the hospital.   While in route the driver came to a sudden stop causing the woman to be thrown from her chair onto the floor of the bus.  As a result of being launched from her wheel chair, the woman suffered multiple fractures resulting in surgery and permanent wheel chair dependency.  SMART has appealed this case to the Michigan State Supreme Court.  The case was argued on January 4th and the parties are awaiting a decision.

Minors’ recover against “in home” care worker for sexual abuse. The parents of two autistic children caught an in home care worker on a “nanny cam” sexually assaulting their two minor children.   The care worker had no history of abuse, criminal record or other similar incidents prior to being hired by the agency.  Despite having no evidence of sexually deviant propensities, attorney, A. Vince Colella, reached a settlement with the care worker’s employer for a confidential multi-six figure settlement for the children.  The settlement proceeds were placed into a trust to allow for their continued therapy and education.

$10,000,000 million dollar  lawsuit filed against Battle Creek Police officer for the shooting death of a 47 year old mentally ill man in his apartment.  On May 10, 2010, the Battle Creek Police department responded to a 911 call for a disturbance at an apartment complex owned and operated by the county’s mental health department.  Within 30 minutes of their arrival, the officers stormed the unit and shot a mentally ill man in the head killing him instantly.  Following the shooting, the officer claimed that the man attempted to strike another officer with a meat cleaver and was cleared by the county prosecutor.  The family’s attorney, A. Vince Colella maintains that a meat cleaver was never involved in the incident and this story was concocted by the officers’  – – after the fact – – to justify the fatal shooting of an unarmed man.  The case is scheduled for trial in the Federal Court for the Western District of Michigan in October of this year.

Mother attempts to defraud a father out of his rights to share in the wrongful death proceeds of his child. In 2009, a mother gave birth to a stillborn following the physician’s failure to diagnose a fetal defect during her pregnancy.  The mother filed suit against the physician and hospital alleging medical malpractice and wrongful death.  The father was identified as the child’s only heir at law in all of the pleadings.  The case was settled in the amount of $250,000.00.  However, at the time of settlement, the mother attempted to claim that the father was not entitled to share in the proceeds because he was not the father.  After winning the case at the trial court level — – the mother appealed.  However, shortly after filing her appeal, the mother agreed to pay the father nearly half of the available proceeds.


Other notable settlements:

$100,000.00 to victim of severe as a result of an exploding candle.

$700,000.00 to a man and woman who suffered multiple leg fractures as a result of a motorcycle accident.

$100,000.00 to a minor girl who suffered a mild brain injury in a rollover automobile accident.

$72,500.00 to a man who suffered a broken ankle as a result  of a slip and fall on ice at his apartment complex.

$50,000.00 to a young man who suffered a bruised ankle and shoulder sprain as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

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