Jean focuses her practice on construction law, medical malpractice defense, commercial litigation, and agribusiness. Jean serves individual clients as well as business entities in litigation in both Michigan and Ohio, with an emphasis on real estate and financial matters, construction disputes, and medical malpractice defense.

For over 25 years, Jean has been defending hospitals and doctors in Ohio and Michigan, including birth injury, cardiology, radiology, pulmonary, oncology, and surgical claims. Jean has resolved problems for her clients, whether through negotiations, mediation, or trial.  While she has gained multi-million dollar verdicts for commercial clients, she also has guided clients in handling matters of all sizes, protecting lien and bond rights, property protection, enforcing contracts, and collection on accounts.  Working with the firm business attorneys, Jean has litigated diverse matters from trust litigation, competence, business dissolution, bankruptcy, and banking issues.

  • Construction Law
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Insurance Coverage and Defense
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Agribusiness

Examples of commercial and medical litigation:

  • Mahmood (Washtenaw County, MI, Nov. 26-30, 2012)  – Dr. Mahmood and her physician husband claimed injury to Dr. Mahmood at the time of the C-section delivery of premature twins.  Our client maternal fetal medicine specialist was granted a “no cause” by the jury.
  • Davis (Monroe County, MI, Nov. 14-22, 2011) – Davis claimed misdiagnosis of MS and delayed diagnosis of neurological condition caused permanent injury.  Our client neurologist was granted a “no cause” by the jury.
  • Ladd v. Bank (Monroe County, MI, Dec. 14, 2010) – Ladd claimed the bank violated the garnishment rules, resulting in damages. Our client bank was granted a “no cause” after trial to the bench and appeal.
  • Nage Lee Damas, Trustee v. Thomas Damas, etc., et al. (Lucas County, OH, Jan.14-19, 2008) – Certain Damas education trust beneficiaries and business entity claimed breach of fiduciary duty and trust laws in exercise of power of appointment by trustee.  Our client, Trustee Damas, received judgment in his favor after trial to the bench and appeal.
  • Kloian (Washtenaw County, MI, 2005 - 2014) – multiple litigation matters related to resolution of ownership of commercial property in Ann Arbor, Michigan, fraud, and collection of $3.1 million dollars in damages.  Defended and litigated in Washtenaw Circuit Court, U.S. District Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and appeals through the Supreme Court of Michigan and 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Ultimately, our client received clear title to the commercial property and recovered $3+ million dollars in damages and attorney fees, including through collection in bankruptcy court.

Examples of Lien, Coverage, and Easement Related Litigation:

  • Placed, resolved, and/or litigated many construction and condominium association lien issues, foreclosed mortgages, and addressed title and priority issues, and collection against real estate in Ohio and Michigan, including, but not limited to:
  • Riga Ethanol Plant – construction liens and threatened foreclosure action- resolved with payment to our clients, Lenawee Circuit Court, Adrian, Michigan.  Dispute involved claims in excess of $1,000,000.
  • Biodiesel Plant – construction liens, failed security agreement and perfection, priority, foreclosure action, and extensive related litigation – judgments for our client, Lenawee Circuit Court, Adrian, Michigan; U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Detroit, MI; Oakland Circuit Court, Pontiac, MI.
  • BCRCCA – foreclosure of association dues lien and address priority and payment, Otsego Circuit Court, Gaylord, MI.
  • Fifth Third Bank v. A___ – foreclosure of commercial mortgages, and recovery of judgment and replevin, with priority issues as to U.S. and State taxing agencies, with Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Monroe Circuit Court, Monroe, MI; U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Detroit, MI.  Obtained judgment in excess of $4,000,000.
  • Fifth Third Bank v. M___ – foreclosure of commercial mortgages and recovery of judgment, with priority issues, with Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Lucas County Common Pleas, Toledo, OH; U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Toledo, Ohio.  Obtained judgment in excess of $2,000,000.
  • Red Gold v. Auto Owners & Farm Bureau and various farms – insurance coverage litigation and agribusiness plaintiffs arising out of spray drift, Monroe Circuit Court, Monroe, MI.
  • Nationwide Insurance v. various parties – various insurance coverage actions as to intentional torts, permissive use, and other related topics, primarily in Northwest, Ohio.

Reviving The Intervening Superseding Cause Doctrine

Issue

A patient alleged that an employee of our hospital client observed the patient’s changed symptoms but did not report those symptoms to the patient’s physician, causing a delay in surgery and permanent injury to the patient.    

Our Approach

The patient attempted to implicate all of her care providers by also testifying that she informed her physicians of these same changed symptoms at a time when, according to her experts, surgery could have been timely performed to avoid injury.  In an issue of first impression in Ohio, we argued the patient could not “cherry pick” facts from other witnesses simply to avoid summary judgment, especially when those facts contradicted her own version of events.  Using the patient’s own version of events and causation theory against her, we successfully argued that her testimony that she informed her physicians of the same symptoms within time for surgery to occur without injury was undisputed evidence of an intervening and superseding cause under Ohio law, therefore breaking the chain of causation stemming from the initial conduct of the hospital employee.  The trial court awarded summary judgment to the hospital accordingly, and the Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed, adopting a large part of our legal analysis.

Results

Despite disputed issues of fact on standard of care and permanent injury, we obtained judgment as a matter of law for the hospital by invoking a causation doctrine that, traditionally, involved factual questions that usually are not decided at the summary judgment stage. 

Commercial Real Estate Dispute in Washtenaw

Issue

After many years of litigation with prior counsel, the client was dismayed to have incurred massive attorney fees and still had not received clear title to the property.

Our Approach

Persuaded not to abandon the long effort and threatened by the opponent, the client looked to RCO Law to recover clear title to the property and massive attorney fees incurred. After trial of the attorney fee issue and interest, an award was entered and over $3 million collected, after appeal through state, federal, and bankruptcy courts. Closing on the disputed real estate contract was completed, off-setting the balance owed with the judgment, before collecting the balance with interest. The litigation was contentious, including trial of the wealthy opponent’s competence in Bankruptcy Court, and appeals in virtually every Michigan venue. 

Result

Clear title to the commercial real estate was obtained, and over $3 million was collected in Detroit Bankruptcy Court.

Contact Jean

Offices Toledo, Ohio, Tecumseh, Michigan and Monroe, Michigan 
Email jsieler@rcolaw.com
P 419-418-6921
Assistant Betty Ruble  Email bruble@rcolaw.com
P 419-418-6462
  • Get to know Jean 

    I was raised on a farm in Riga, Michigan, where my family raised produce and grain crops and had a small greenhouse operation. I reside in Blissfield, Michigan with my husband, Jeffrey, where we operate Sieler Construction, Inc., an industrial and commercial contracting company. My three adult sons work in engineering and construction in the region.

 

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