Berkley police sued for wrongful death; former GM building target of ADA suit

Among recently filed Michigan lawsuits:

• The family of Lisa Kindl has filed a wrongful death suit against the Berkley Police, on allegations that Kindl slipped into convulsions in her cell at the city police lockup and died of alcohol withdrawal.

The Detroit News reports that the 47-year-old, who was known to the court system and police as a “chronic serious alcoholic,” repeatedly asked officers for help during her July 2010 holding.

The suit alleges that 15 officers, including the police chief, may have had similar knowledge of her medical needs, and she was denied proper emergency medical care for hours despite complaints to officers.

The lawsuit was filed July 9 in Oakland County Circuit Court by Southfield attorney Mark Boegehold, and assigned to Judge Daniel O’Brien.

• Richard Bernstein of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm in Farmington Hills is asking that the former General Motors Corp. headquarters be renovated to comply with American with Disabilities Act standards.

According to MLive, his client, Jill Babcock, who works for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, moved into the building in October. She said that, while some adjustments have been to accommodate her wheelchair, such as the addition of a button-operated bathroom stall, not nearly enough has been done for disabled access building-wide.

The suit was filed July 10 at U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

• Flint attorney Tom Pabst is contending that Brian Fairchild, former police sergeant for Flushing Township, was fired for retaliatory reasons because of his involvement in a campaign to oust trustees from office.

MLive says that Fairchild claims his rights under the Whistleblower Protection Act were violated, because he actively participating in a recall campaign against trustees Michael Gardner and Bill Noecker, who are named as defendants. The township, its Supervisor Terry Peck, and trustees Scott Minaudo and Mark Purkey also are named.

Peck contends that Fairchild’s termination was for budgetary reasons.

The suit was filed in Genesee County Circuit Court and assigned to Judge Geoffrey Neithercut.


Bernstein jumps into AG race

Richard BernsteinFarmington Hills attorney Richard Bernstein has announced his candidacy for the state attorney general’s office.

The 36-year-old Democrat, who is blind, leads the Public Service Division of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm.

From Bernstein’s campaign Web site:

Every day our streets become less safe, water and air less clean, pensions less stable, and health insurance less secure. Michigan’s consumer protection laws have been severely weakened. Our civil rights laws watered down. And now, our dire economy has made our most vulnerable citizens even more at risk. …

“We need a fresh start. We need an Attorney General who fights and wins for everyday people, and that’s the change I plan to bring to the Capitol.

“I know we can do a better job of protecting Michigan’s people. And I want to bring my record of independent-minded thinking, and a no nonsense approach to getting things done to Lansing. It is one thing to legislate, but another to litigate. As I travel around Michigan, I hear frustration with state government. A different approach is long overdue.”

Bernstein is a member of Wayne State University’s governing board. He’s been endorsed by Congressmen Mark Schauer, Gary Peters and John Conyers.

Berstein is competing with Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton for the Democratic nomination.

Republicans Mike Bishop, the Michigan Senate majority leader, and former Court of Appeals judge Bill Schuette, are slugging it out for the Republican nomination.