Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert Young Favors Insurance Company over the Injured Worker

Justice Robert Young is up for re-election in November. Each and every worker in the State of Michigan should remember his decision in the recent Alderman v. J.C. Development Communities case.

On October 9, 2006, Randy Alderman was part of a crew of six men working on a homesite in a new subdivision, adjacent to some power lines. As the crane lowered one of the forms onto the foundation, it contacted a power line. A jolt of electric current flowed through the crane and down the chain to the form and the metal “whaler” plaintiff was using to control the form from the ground. Plaintiff was knocked unconscious and his hands and feet were severely burned, requiring skin grafts.

Justice Young reversed the Court of Appeals decision and threw out Randy’s case. Why? Because “The only employees exposed to the risk of electrocution were two to six employees of one subcontractor, including the plaintiff, and therefore there was not a high degree of risk to a significant number of workers.” I guess in Justice Young’s world since only 6 people were at risk of electrocution and only one guy actually got electrocuted its no big deal. I suspect that Randy Alderman and his family might disagree.

Who benefited from this decision? Defendant J.C. Development LLC and its liability insurance company.

Who was harmed by this decision. The worker- Randy Alderman.
Who is going to pay Randy’s medical bills now??? Not the insurance company or corporate defendant that’s for sure.

This is just the latest in a long string of decisions that Justice Young has decided giving a free pass to the insurance companies and corporate interests.