Our Team > R. Carl Lanfear, Jr.

R. Carl Lanfear concentrates his practice in civil litigation, with an emphasis on trial advocacy. A veteran litigator, his legal career includes more than 40 successful defense verdicts and multiple summary dispositions.

Education

  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, J.D., 1990, Cum Laude.
  • University of Detroit Mercy, B.A. Economics, 1987, Magna Cum Laude.
  • University of Detroit Mercy, Law Review, Associate Editor 1989-1990.
  • National Moot Court Team, 1989-1990

Admitted to the Bar

  • Michigan, 1990

Accomplishments

  • Designated a Certified Litigation Management Professional by the Litigation Management Institute of the Claims &  Litigation Management Alliance — 2013.
  • Golden Gavel Award For Outstanding Achievement 2006 – 2008 Westfield Insurance
  • Golden Gavel Award For Outstanding Achievement 2010 – 2013 Westfield Insurance

Reported Cases

The Estate of Malburg v Kagy Farms, et al.  United State District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Judge Paul Borman, Case No. 2:11 CV-14856.  Wrongful death action arising out of a pedestrian tractor trailer accident.  An independent case evaluation panel valued plaintiff’s claims at $900,000.00.   Plaintiff accepted the evaluation, defendants did not and the matter proceeded to trial.   Last demand was $900,000.00.  Last offer was $225,000.00.  The jury found in favor of the defense, no cause of action.  October 26, 2014.

Bonnie Johnson v Johnnie Ray Milner, Ottawa County Circuit Court, Case No. 12-02988-NI.   Ms. Johnson was riding her bicycle and was struck by a vehicle driven by Mr. Milner.   She suffered serious injuries, including fractures to her cervical spine.   An independent case evaluation panel valued plaintiff’s claims at $90,000.00.   Plaintiff accepted the evaluation, defendant did not.   The last demand before trial was $90,000.00.  The last offer was $25,000.00.   On August 2013, the jury found in favor of the defense, no cause of action.

Cheng Bai as Next Friend of Isaac Bai v De-Cal Inc and Richard Zimmerman, Wayne County Circuit Court, Case No 12-02988-NI.  A six year old boy was riding his bicycle across a residential street in Livonia, MI when he was struck by a truck operated by Mr. Zimmerman and owned by his employer De-Cal.   The injuries included a fractured orbital rim, a separated shoulder and road rash to the face.   An independent case evaluation panel value plaintiff’s claims at $9,450.00.  Neither side accepted the evaluation.  The last demand before trial was $15,000.00, the last offer was $5,000.00.  On March 20, 2013, the jury found in favor of the defense, no cause of action.

Ramaz Saad v Velma Hudgens, Wayne County Circuit Court, Case No. 10-006120-NI.   In this automobile accident case, Mr. Saad was rear ended by Ms. Hudgens at low speed.   Mr. Saad contended that he suffered multiple herniated discs as a result of the accident.  Ms. Hudgens contended the accident was very low impact and that Mr. Saad had stopped suddenly in front of her.   An independent case evaluation panel valued the plaintiff’s claims at $12,500.00.  Neither side accepted the evaluation.   The last demand before trial was $15,000.00.   The last offer was $5,000.00.  On November 28, 2011, a jury found in favor of the defense, no cause of action.

Douglas Rudd v Lancaster Lakes Apartements, Oakland County Circuit Court Case No. 2009 105964 NO.  Mr. Rudd was a tenant at the defendant apartment complex who slipped and fell on ice near the common activity center.   He claimed her suffered a herniated cervical disc which ultimately resulted in a fusion surgery.   An independent case evaluation panel valued his claims at $80,000.00.    The plaintiff accepted the award, the defendant did not.    The last demand was $80,000.00.  The last offer was $5,000.00.   At a jury trial in April, 2011, the Court directed a verdict in favor of the defendant at the close of plaintiff’s proofs.

Connie Williams v Time Out Bar & Grill, Jackson County Circuit Court, Case No. 09-001486-NI  Ms. Williams was a patron at the defendant restaurant who slipped and fell on alleged black ice in the parking lot outside and suffered a bi-malleolar fracture to her ankle which required surgery.   An independent case evaluation panel valued her claims at $65,000.00.  Neither side accepted the evaluation.   The last demand was $125,000.00.   There was no counter.   On September 22, 2010, a jury found in favor of the defense, no cause of action.

Linda Kalabat v Douglas Hearthen and Alta Lift Truck, Macomb County Circuit Court, Case No. 06-3193-NI.  Plaintiff was involved in an automobile accident with Douglas Hearthen, who was driving his own vehicle but in the course and scope of his employment with Alta Lift Truck.  She was a 32 year old mother of two young boys at the time of the accident.   She did not appear significantly injured at the accident scene but her condition deteriorated dramatically over time.  At trial, she was comatose, wheeled into the jury room by EMS technicians on a hospital bed.  Defendants contended that her condition was the result of a disease process and not the accident.    Plaintiff’s last demand before trial was $3,500,000.00.  Defendants last offer was $1,000,000.00.  After a three week trial and three reports by the jury that they were deadlocked, on May 21, 2008, it returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff for $2,000,000.00.   

Carrie Snook v City Tavern, Inc. Wayne County Circuit Court, Case No. 03-336721.  Ms. Snook was a patron at the defendant’s restaurant who slipped on water on the floor.  She herniated a cervical disc which was surgically repaired.     An independent case evaluation panel valued her claims at $110,000.00.  Neither side accepted the evaluation and there was no further settlement discussion.   On May 16, 2007, a jury found in favor of the defense, no cause of action.

Carole Laugovitz v Patrick Fabrizio, MD, Osceola County Circuit Court, Case No. 04-10132 NO.  Plaintiff was employed as a nurse in the oncology facility where defendant also practiced.  She claimed that she was confronting him over what she thought was unprofessional behavior and he responded by shoving her out of his office and slamming the door on her when she was still in the doorway.  She ultimately had four separate surgeries to address her neck and shoulder injuries.   An independent case evaluation panel valued her claims at $90,000.00.  Neither side accepted the valuation.   The last demand before trial was $150,000.00.  The last offer was $35,000.00.  On August 8, 2006, the jury found in favor of the defense, no cause of action.

David Symanski v Dan Valley Excavating, Kent County Circuit Court, Case No. 03-11284-NI.  Mr. Symanski drove his motorcycle into a large excavation on a county road made by the defendant in the course of repairing an underground line.  He suffered serious injuries and blamed the accident on inadequate signage or warning by the defendant that the area was under construction.  An independent case evaluation panel valued his claims at $50,000.00 which neither side accepted.  On May 8, 2006, a jury found in favor of the defendant, no cause of action.

Daniel Sinacola v Timothy Keilty, Leelanau County Circuit Court, Case No. 02-6119-NI.  Mr. Sinacola was on an inflatable raft in the Leelanau harbor when he was run over by a boat owned by Mr. Keilty and operated by a local handyman who worked for Mr. Keilty from time to time.   Mr. Sinacola suffered severe injuries to his leg and hip. Despite two surgeries there remained a length differential, significant scarring and a pronounced limp.   The last demand before trial was $200,000; the last offer was  $20, 000.00. On April 15, 2005, a jury found in favor of the defendant, no cause of action.

Renee Cockle v Mary Bell Thomas, Wayne County Circuit Court, Case No. 02-244032-CZ.   Ms. Cockle claimed a traumatic brain injury arising out of a motor vehicle accident she blamed on Ms. Thomas.   Plaintiff demanded defendant’s $50,000.00 insurance policy limits.  Defendant offered $10,000.00.  After two days of jury trial, on January 10, 2005, the Court granted a directed verdict in favor of defendant.

Practice Focus

Civil Litigation with an emphasis on trial advocacy

Sample successful results:

  • Defense verdict in United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan- No cause in a rear end trucking accident where plaintiff claimed a traumatic brain injury and permanent disability. An independent case evaluation panel valued plaintiff’s case at $500,000.00.
  • Defense verdict in Wayne County Circuit Court – No cause of action on a wrongful death claim. An independent case evaluation panel valued plaintiff’s claims at $2,500,000.
  • Defense verdict in Wayne County Circuit Court. Plaintiff was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of trucking accident in disputed liability case. An independent case evaluation panel valued plaintiff’s claims at $4,000,000. Plaintiff rejected a pre-trial settlement offer of $1,000,000. The jury found plaintiff had significant comparative fault and awarded $140,000.
  • Defense verdict in Oakland County Circuit Court in representing an insurance company in a Michigan No Fault First Party case. An independent case evaluation panel valued plaintiff’s claims at $1,000,000.
  • Summary disposition in a product liability case pending in Wayne County where documented damages exceeded $20,000,000.
  • 2014 Defense verdict in the United State District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan on a trucking/pedestrian fatality. An independent case evaluation panel had valued the plaintiff’s case at $900,000.00.
  • 2014 Summary Disposition affirmed by Michigan Supreme Court on a fatality and claims of negligence and nuisance.   An independent case evaluation panel had valued the plaintiff’s case at $750,000.00.   The brief filed in the Michigan Supreme Court received the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review’s Distinguished Brief Award.
  • 2013 Obtained summary disposition in favor of heating and cooling contractor on multi-million dollar fire loss at an apartment complex for seniors in West Bloomfield. The alleged cause of the fire was heat from an allegedly improperly serviced boiler at the complex. The West Bloomfield Fire Department testified it was the largest fire fought in the department’s history. A panel of three independent evaluators had assessed the plaintiff’s claim at $4,000,000.00. The circuit denied our motion for summary disposition, but the Court of Appeals reversed the circuit court and the Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal.

Publications

  • University of Detroit Mercy, Law Review , Associate Editor 1989-1990.