Battery case summarily dismissed and attorneys sanctioned
Solis Frizzell sued Quality Fuel Gas Station and Sam Elakkari after an alleged employee of the gas station swung a board at an unidentified dustomer and struck Frizzell. To make a long story short, Frizzell's attorneys apparently got the name of the station from a police report and sued, but the action was "mis-named." The Defendants sought summary disposition and also asked for sanctions for filing a frivolous action. The Defendants forgot to pay the Court's e-filing fee, however, so the Frizzell's attorneys did not get proper notice of the pending hearing. Nevertheless, at the hearing the case was dismissed and sanctions were imposed. Frizzell's attorneys appealed.
The Court of Appeals--with pro-insurance judges Henry Saad and Kirsten Kelly on the panel--held that it didn't matter that the Defendants did not properly or timely serve the motion for summary disposition. It also held that merely relying upon the police report and a "drive-by" check of the corporate identity of the gas station was sanctionable error. It also upheld the trial judge's decision to sanction the Plaintiff's attorneys because the original attorney had not appeared on time for an initial conference and then did not appear with co-counsel "to explain his actions" in response to the sanction request.