Rape victim cannot hold her attorney to any duty higher than duty imposed in class action notice order
Wendy Piotrowski was one of the female prisoners who participated in the class action suit against the state prison system. The case ultimately resulted in a positive jury verdict and a negotiated settlement to which individual class members were allowed the opportunity to "opt in." PIotrowski's attorney, Deborah A. La Belle, became one of the "class counsel" fiduciaries representing the class as a group, and she complied with the bare minimum notice requirements imposed on class counsel by the court. Piotrowski did not opt in within the time allowed and argued that as her personal attorney, LaBelle owed her a duty of notice and assistance beyond the duty imposed by the Court on class counsel.
The Court of Appeals disagreed and ruled that under Michigan law, a class member's personal attorney owes no duty broader or greater than the court-imposed duties contained in the settlement order.