Defendant granted sanctions after premises liability claim is dismissed.
In Broom v. Westchase Park Housing Partner dba Waterford West Apartments, the plaintiff attempted to hold his landlord responsible for injuries he suffered in a slip and fall. There was confusion initially, as the insurer informed Broom's attorney that the insured was "Concord Realtors," but that entity later sent the attorney a letter denying any interest in the property. The parties then engaged in discovery intended to confirm ownership, and apparently bickered briefly about how to dismiss the "Concord Realtors" from the case. When the Defendants sought summary disposition in favor of Concord Realtors, the Plaintiff attorney acquiesced, but disputed the Defendant's right to sanctions, given the confusion created by the insurer and the agreement to dismiss.
The trial judge denied the Defendant sanctions, however, it appealed and managed to draw a Court of Appeals panel that included arch-conservative Richard Boonstra. True to his nature, the latter judge signed on to an opinion overturning the trial judge and granting sanctions to the Defendant. Boonstra's court ruled that even though the claim against the Defendant wasn't frivolous, the plaintiff's attorney had "ample notice" of the non-involvement of the insurer-identified party and therefore the Judge "abused his discretion" in denying sanctions.