Hamed v. Wayne County et al. in Michigan Supreme Court

I recently argued Hamed v Wayne County in the Michigan Supreme Court.


This was a case that I have been working on since March or April of 2007.  The Court of Appeals did not hear oral argument until June 2009!  When their opinion came out (read it here: http://coa.courts.mi.gov/documents/opinions/final/coa/20090707_c278017_108_118o-278017.pdf) against my clients, I told Lawyers Weekly that the Court of Appeals was wrong, see the article here Michigan Lawyers Weekly _ Print _ County liable for deputy’s sexual assault, that the Supreme Court would grant leave to consider this case, which they did here: http://coa.courts.mi.gov/documents/sct/public/orders/20100623_s139505_119_139505_2010-06-23_or.pdf (after I filed an application), and that the issue was whether the common-law rule that an employer is not liable for the unforeseeable, intentional criminal acts of an employee was abrogated by the enactment of the Michigan Civil Rights Act, which I have argued against.

The case really turns on whether or not a 1986 decision by the Michigan Supreme Court, Champion v Nationwide, 450 Mich 702 (1996), allowing quid-pro-quo claims of sexual harassment to go forward based on a criminal, sexual assault committed by a subordinate, supervisory-level employee upon another employee applies, in light of subsequent case law that has confirmed that under the common law, a principal cannot be liable for the unforeseeable criminal acts of an agent.  Zsigo v Hurley Medical Center, 475 Mich 215 (2006), read the slip opinion here: http://coa.courts.mi.gov/documents/opinions/final/sct/20060614_s126984_66_zsigo3nov05-op.pdf

The opinion should be forthcoming in a couple of months.

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