A defamation/libel claimant gets a rare win
Dawn Dubuc sued Dr. Adel El-Magrabi and Qualified Medical Examiners after she was terminated from her right to disability payments from Ford Motor Company. Dubuc had suffered a head injury and orthopaedic injuries in a motor vehicle collision, allegedly rendering her disabled. She alleged that the physician defamed her by cutting short her "independent" medical examination and reporting to the employer that she was uncooperative. Ford Motor's insurer then stopped her disability benefits. The Court of Appeals had dismissed her claim, even though her tape-recording of the IME demonstrated that while she was cooperative and forthcoming, the doctor was "discourteous and impatient."This week, on appeal, the Supreme Court overturned the (Henry Saad) Court of Appeals' majority opinion and reinstated Dubuc's claim. The high court noted that summary disposition should not have been granted because, looking at the facts from the perspective of the non-moving party, it was a question of fact whether the defendant Doctor and the IME company were motivated by a legitimate business interest--a question to be decided by the jury where the facts are in conflict.