Court upholds award of case evaluation sanctions, but does not include fees incurred to collect the sanctions
In Van Elslander v. Thomas Sebold & Associates, et al., the Court of Appeals may have finally concluded a drawn-out battle over water damage to a vacation home on Lake Michigan. The purchaser had sued multiple defendants, alleging silent fraud and other claims; he recovered a verdict initially of $680,000.00. The Court of Appeals overturned that verdict and ordered a new trial with very limited evidence. The purchaser lost that trial and the defendants sought case evaluation sanctions because the purchaser had initially turned down a suggested settlement of $173,000.00. Eventually, after the two trials and multiple appeals, the Court of Appeals upheld the award of most of $583,000.00 in sanctions against Van Elslander. It did return the case to the trial judge to reduce the award by the amount of the defendants' attorneys fees incurred by the Defendants in seeking the sanctions.