Doctors and their insurers awarded $20,000.00 in sanctions
Julia Peterson brought suit against David Fertel, D.O., and John R. Schairer, D.O., alleging that they were negligent in diagnosing and treating her deceased husband. A Case Evaluation panel agreed and recommended an award against the doctors, which Dr. Schairer accepted, but Fertel and the Peterson Estate rejected.
The next month, the case was dismissed by the trial court on summary disposition [the appellate court did not explain why in its opinion], and the doctors and their insurers immediately asked the Court to award them sanctions. The trial court felt compelled to award the doctors' insurers more than $20,000.00 in costs, since the dismissal was a "more favorable" outcome than the Case Evaluation recommendation rejected by the Estate. The Court of Appeals, in an opinion authored by the insurers' best friend, Henry Saad, upheld the sanctions.
Michigan consumers who challenge the medical care they or a loved received by claiming professional negligence must exercise great care to avoid a trap of this nature--adding insult to injury.