Virzi v. Grand Trunk Warehouse and Cold Storage Co.
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
571 F. Supp. 507 (E.D. Mich. 1983)
Virzi (plaintiff) filed a personal injury lawsuit against Grand Trunk Warehouse and Cold Storage Company (Grand Trunk) (defendant). During the course of pretrial litigation, Virzi died of causes unrelated to the injuries alleged in the lawsuit. Although a probate court appointed a personal representative for Virzi’s estate, Virzi’s personal injury attorney did not inform the district court of Virzi’s death or move to substitute Virzi’s estate or his personal representative as a party to the litigation. Virzi’s attorney entered into mediation and negotiated a $35,000 settlement award that was approved and reduced to an order by the district court (though Virzi’s attorney learned of the death just before the settlement was finalized). Throughout the two weeks of settlement negotiations, Grand Trunk’s legal counsel did not ask whether Virzi was still alive, and Virzi’s attorney did not inform Grand Trunk’s counsel that Virzi had died. After learning that Virzi had died weeks before the party attorneys reached a settlement agreement, the district court reviewed its order confirming the mediation award.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gilmore, J.)
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