Trials, Opinions & News

Blanco Wilczynski Wins Employment Grievance Arbitration filed by Employee Terminated by Ambulance Company

On May 4, 2016, Blanco Wilczynski received a favorable Arbitration Opinion and Award in a grievance employment matter subject to a collective bargaining agreement. The case involved an EMT who had been discharged from his employment with a non-profit municipally owned EMS service following his arrest for Driving under the Influence of alcohol. The employee was arrested following a single car crash while off duty. The investigating Sheriff Deputy reported that the EMT told him that the driver of a garbage truck had run him off the road. When the Deputy questioned whether the EMT was under the influence of alcohol, the EMT claimed that he had consumed “a lot of beer” after the crash and before the officer had arrived to the scene. When the Deputy inquired about the whereabouts of the beer cans, the EMT told him that his girlfriend had driven to the accident scene to pick up the cans and had left the scene. When the Deputy contacted the girlfriend by phone, she denied the EMT’s story. In addition, the EMT attempted to mislead the Deputy by claiming that he could not participate in a sobriety test because he suffered from “every” medical condition, including diabetes and was “uneducated” none of which was true. The EMT eventually took a breathalyzer test which revealed a blood alcohol content of .253, more than three times the legal limit. He was placed under arrest and charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

After his arrest, the employee advised the ambulance company of his arrest and falsely reported that he had been run off the road by a garbage truck. He was placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation. The employer took no action to terminate or otherwise discipline the EMT during the pending investigation and the EMT’s court case. After the court case was completed, the employer obtained the Sheriff’s investigation and testimony provided by the EMT at a plea hearing. The testimony revealed that the EMT also attempted to mislead the Court about the activities that led to his arrest, even after having placed under oath by the presiding Judge. Eventually, the EMT admitted to having consumed seven beers and a pint of whiskey prior to the accident and the Court accepted the EMT’s plea to a reduced charge of impaired driving. After reviewing the entire investigation of events, including the Court transcript, the employer terminated the EMT for violating the Employer’s Code of Conduct, which provided, among other things, that an arrest or conviction of any crime due to conduct occurring outside of working hours may result in in disciplinary action, up to and including termination, depending on the nature of the conduct and whether the sanctions imposed for the arrest and/or conviction interfered with the EMT’s ability to perform his job duties. Because the EMT had lied to the police officer, and also attempted to mislead the judge presiding over his case, while under oath, the employer decided to terminate the employee.

Following his termination, the employee filed a grievance claiming that the termination was imposed without just cause under the progressive discipline provisions of the collective bargaining agreement. The grievance was denied and the employee, represented by his union, filed a request for arbitration under the agreement, seeking that the employee be reinstated to his EMT job with back pay and benefits. Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the employer had the evidentiary burden to establish just cause for the discipline handed down to the employee. Having met this burden, the arbitrator ruled that burden then shifted to the employee to show that the discipline of termination was too severe and inappropriate and that the employer had chosen that penalty arbitrarily and capriciously. After taking proofs from both sides at the arbitration hearing, the arbitrator found that the penalty chosen by the employer was not arbitrary and capricious and denied the grievance.

The matter was handled by Orlando L. Blanco, who heads up the firm’s Employment Law Practice area. The full opinion can be found here.

Blanco Wilczynski Wins Disability Case in Federal Court

martin-v-huron-valley-ambulance

Blanco Wilczynski prevails in Federal Court Action to Overturn Medical Control Authority’s Denial of Ambulance Company’s Application to Operate

On July 19, 2016, a U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, issued a 30 page opinion granting injunctive relief to an ambulance company represented by Blanco Wilczynski which had been wrongly denied the right to operate in Saginaw and Tuscola Counties by th...


Blanco Wilczynski Wins Jury Trial Successfully Defending Ambulance Company Accused of Running Over Pedestrian

On July 15, 2016, Blanco Wilczynski obtained a No Cause for Action verdict from a jury in the Macomb County Circuit Court, in the matter of Mueller v. Medstar Ambulance. The case involved a pedestrian-ambulance accident which occurred on August 15, 2013 at the intersection of 15 Mile Road and Gr...

Blanco Wilczynski Obtains Summary Disposition and Dismissal with Prejudice in Paramedic Liability Case

Butler v. Paramed Inc. et.al. Kent County Circuit Court, Case No: 14-03882-NO, May 1, 2015

Blanco Wilczynski obtained summary disposition in Kent County Circuit Court, in a matter alleging that Defendant's Paramedics negligently lowered a hospital bed, resulting in a crush inj...


Blanco Wilczynski Obtains Reversal of Paramedic License Revocation

In the Matter of Albrecht v. Michigan Department of Community Health, Case No. 15-003681-AA, June 16, 2015 Blanco Wilczynski was successful in obtaining a reversal and remand on appeal to the Circuit Court of a 10 year Paramedic license revocation by an Administrative Law Judge (...

Blanco Wilczynski Succesfully Defends Healthcare Logistics Firm in Auto Liability Case

Franklin v. Access2Care LLC Macomb County Circuit Court, Case No. 2014-2932-NI June 16, 2015

Blanco Wilczynski PLLC obtained a summary disposition ruling from the Macomb County Circuit in a lawsuit alleging negligent operation of a medical transportation van. The firm's client...


Blanco Wilczynski Wins Quiet Title Action To Clear Title To Property Purchased In 1980

Derek Wilczynski won a significant victory for an individual client, clearing title which had been purchased in 1980, however, due to a failure to file documents with the Oakland County Register of Deeds, resulted in a cloud on the firm’s client’s title. Mr. Wilczynski managed to confirm that t...

Blanco Wilczynski Wins Reduction In Spousal Support For Business Client In Post-Judgment Divorce Trial

After a three-day trial, Derek Wilczynski won a reduction in spousal support for a business client who was seeking to reduce his spousal support obligation from $5,500.00 month. After hearing testimony regarding the 65 year-old client’s decline in business, that he was living off of his retiremen...

Founding Member Orlando L. Blanco Cited as a “Top Lawyer in Michigan” for 2014

Blanco Wilczynski PLLC is pleased to announce that founding member Orlando L. Blanco has been selected as a "Top Lawyer in Michigan" for 2014. Mr. Blanco was recognized as achieving the highest in ethical standards and professional excellence in healthcare law because of his AV Preeminent rating fro...

Michigan Lawyers Weekly Selects Orlando L. Blanco as a 2014 “Leader in the Law”

Each year, Michigan Lawyers Weekly selects 25 to 30 lawyers to honors as "Leaders in the Law."  Chosen from dozens of nominations, the 2014 Leaders are attorneys who are changing the law, expanding access to justice and improving the profession and their communities. The 2014 leaders wer...


Governmental EMS Provider Granted Summary Judgment by Federal Court in County Jail EMS Case

Jackson v. Medic 1 Ambulance, 517 Fed. Appx. 311; 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 4786 (6th Cir. March 6, 2013) This action was brought by a decedent's estate to obtain damages as a result of the death of an inmate in the Berrien County Jail from internal injuries sustained while evading ar...