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Michigan Business Law Blog

2014 Victory in Federal Court for Truck Drivers based in Michigan

Over 125 independent owner-operator truck drivers ("truck drivers") entered into agreements to lease truck tractor units with the option to purchase the leased tractor unit from a Michigan based company ("leasing company"). The truck drivers who entered into the agreements with the leasing company were then obligated to have their leased trucks maintained and repaired at the leasing company's repair facility at prices the truck drivers alleged were inflated. Additionally, the leasing company deducted these maintenance charges and repairs from the compensation due to the truck drivers. The leasing company also required truck drivers to pay escrow funds, but it allegedly failed to keep proper accounting of these funds, failed to account for interest and failed to properly refund these escrow funds.

Hertz Schram's medical malpractice team taking charge for its clients and winning in the courtroom

The highly skilled and experienced medical malpractice legal team at Hertz Schram PC, led by attorneys Steve Weiss and Elizabeth Thomson, reviewed a potential medical malpractice claim brought to them by clients who suffered the loss of a loved one that visited a local Michigan hospital for treatment and was given the wrong treatment based off an imprudent gross medical misdiagnosis.

This medical misdiagnosis claim stemmed from a 58-year-old male who presented to a hospital in Wayne County with weakness and difficulty breathing. The man had a medical history of being a heavy smoker and was overweight. The doctors at the local Michigan hospital treated the middle-aged man for congestive heart failure when instead should have been treating him for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Due to this negligent misdiagnosis, the man slowly suffered carbon dioxide (Co2) poisoning, suffered acute respiratory failure was put on a ventilator, and passed away.

REITs contribute to commercial real estate stability in Michigan

Most are aware of the recent housing bubble in the U.S., which caused strife across the nation's economy. However, there may be many in Michigan and other states who do not realize that an entire portion of the real estate sector was able to avoid the negative effects of the real estate boom and bust. Commercial real estate did not experience the same boom and bust effect witnessed in the housing market.

A recent study suggests that Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) played a significant role in keeping the commercial real estate market safe from the boom and bust effect. The study, which was published in the Journal of Portfolio Management, was conducted by the head of financial markets and economics of an international bank, a real estate professor and a BIS statistical analyst. However, the study published in the journal has not received significant attention outside of those already involved in REITs.

Two tech companies receive funds for business planning ventures

Technological advancements are usually aimed at improving various aspects of society. However, a new company looking to bring its technology to the marketplace will have to have solid business planning backed up by startup capital. This is what two startup technology companies are doing with their recently obtained grant funding.

One of the new companies is a technology firm looking to improve emissions and fuel efficiency. The company, Nostrum Energy LLC, had recently received $50,000 in grant money from the Michigan Small Business Development Center through a special startup business accelerator program. The program is being run through a local university.

Construction company faces business litigation in Michigan

Construction projects can be complicated, and many unexpected events may end up occurring. This can put a construction company at risk of a business litigation lawsuit if a party believes the company’s negligence may have caused injury or damage to property. One state government agency in Michigan has recently accused a construction company of negligence, which allegedly resulted in damage to the basements of over 20 residential properties.

The construction company, Pamar Enterprises Inc., was contracted by the Michigan Department of Transportation to work on a reconstruction project. The lawsuit alleges that the defendant construction company had removed concrete and asphalt materials from the project site. Removing the concrete and asphalt, which had been used to cover a road, had caused a trench that had become filled with water during rainfall.

More women may be good business planning idea for tech companies

Women make up half of the population and therefore make up half of the consumers in the economy. This is why companies in all industries and sectors have a financial interest in targeting women in their marketing campaigns to promote products and services in Michigan or in any other state. However, many companies in the software industry may be having trouble targeting women and may have to adjust their business planning strategies in order to do so.

One of the problems that many companies have in the software industry is a lack of women in the workforce. This is widespread throughout the software industry with only 20 percent of software developers being women. In comparison to other industries, this number is low, considering that 56 percent of people in finance and business positions are women. Also, women account for 36 percent of medical doctors and 33 percent of attorneys.

Commercial real estate developer may acquire historic property

People place significant importance on historical landmarks and will create public policies geared toward preserving these landmarks if possible.

However, due to the nature of historical landmarks, it can be costly to maintain the properties, especially if a property has been neglected for an extended amount of time in Michigan or in any other state. This is why one commercial real estate development company is looking to demolish a particular historic building.

This building was constructed about a century-and-a-half ago. The local city government currently owns the brick house and is now looking to sell the property to the commercial real estate development firm. The firm had submitted a proposal and was given informal designated developer status by the city council. The company is now looking to secure official city council approval to move forward with the project, which is calling for the demolition of the historic building. 

Business litigation erupts over mall redevelpment project

In business, it is essential to honor one's agreements. Not only does this make for better business, it can also help to avoid future legal problems in Michigan or elsewhere. This includes proper usage of venture capital funding obtained from investors. It seems that one businessman may have failed to do this in a mall redevelopment project, and this has resulted in a business lawsuit.

The person in charge of implementing the redevelopment project has recently sued the project's main investor. This recent lawsuit was filed in response to a previous complaint filed by the project's main investor, Tangshan Ganglu, a foreign-based company. The previous lawsuit alleges that the businessman had misappropriated $48.7 million of venture capital funds. The previous lawsuit alleges that the defendant had attempted to obtain title to the property in the defendant's own name, despite the funds for the purchase being obtained from Tangshan Ganglu.

Two new business ventures from Michigan win business competitions

If a person has a good idea in business, he or she may be able to make a hefty profit. However, it is also important for an entrepreneur to be able to convince investors that his or her ideas for a new business are worth investing in for a profitable return. One way to test if entrepreneurs are able to successfully present their business ideas to investors is through start-up competitions. Two Michigan companies recently proved themselves in this way by coming home with awards from national and international competitions.

One company that recently came home with an award is Swaddle-mi-Bili, which consists of three engineering students. The three Biosystems Engineering students entered the International Business Model Competition in early May. This competition consisted of 40 teams from around the world. The three students from Michigan State University won fourth place and took home $8,000 as a prize.

Google suffers setback in latest round of business litigation

In a case that has dragged on for several years, Google has recently seemed to lose ground. An appeals judge has ruled against it in the latest round of this business litigation between Oracle and the search engine giant. While this lawsuit is not based in Michigan, the eventual outcome may affect technology users everywhere.

The original case was filed by Oracle over the use of an API, application programming interfaces, which Google admits using freely. These interfaces are used when tech companies are attempting to get two programs to communicate with each other. Oracle sued when thousands of lines of their proprietary code were incorporated by Google when they were developing their Android product. The complaint was not over the new product, but over the use of the code to make the conversion of one code language to the other easier.