Prevailing party is denied case evaluation sanctions where court holds it "overreached"
The Court of Appeals recently upheld a Grand Traverse County judge's conclusion that he would not award sanctions to the prevailing party in a civil litigation case. The case arose out of the dissolution of a General Surgery practice. The Court found that the actions of partner Michael Colburn, M.D., were "oppressive and willfully unfair" and entered judgment against him in the amount of $255,336.83. Nevertheless, under the totality of circumstances, it did not award additional case evaluation sanctions against Colburn, because the judge deemed that Colburn's angry former partner was driven by emotion and bad feelings to "overreach" in the lawsuit. The Court of Appeals upheld this decision, finding that it did not "fall outside the range of principled outcomes."