When Insurance Companies Have All the Power

Insurance-industry-backed Dr. Rosalind Griffin is #MadOnline. The doctor was hired by an insurance company to perform what’s called an IME – “Independent Medical Exam” – on one of the attorney’s clients. The point of an IME is for an insurance company to have an “independent” doctor examine the client and determine how badly they are injured. After Dr. Griffin testified about what happened in the exam in a way that didn’t match up with what actually happened during the exam, the attorney wrote a blog post about it.

The blog post was provocative. It wasn’t kind toward the doctor, and went so far as to call her “notorious.” It even used a generic clip art picture of a doctor’s lab coat with money sticking out, implying that insurance companies are paying doctors to downplay people’s injuries so they can avoid paying claims.

In response to the blog post, Dr. Griffin decided to file a bar grievance against the attorney claiming that he had violated his ethical obligations of honesty and fitness as a lawyer, and placed her in a false light.

Oh – important note here – Dr. Griffin sits on the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board. This means that the good doctor could actually influence the outcome of the bar grievance not because not only is she allegedly the victim, but because she’s also in a position of power to leverage outcomes in her favor.

Sound familiar? It looks like Dr. Griffin is so used to playing judge, jury and executioner over injured people’s claims, she’s now attempting to do the same to an attorney who has the temerity to be mean to her online.

And as Josh King points out, her grievance is transparently thin-skinned:

Finally, there’s Dr. Griffin’s preferred remedy – that Mr. Gursten be ordered to delete his blog post and remove the link to Google results for Goodwin’s name. That, more than anything else, should tell you this most likely just another thin-skinned attack on speech that the subject doesn’t like.

The “but when people google my name they find out bad things about me” refrain really tugs those heart strings.

The good news is that the attorney hasn’t backed down. I think it’s important to point out that everything the attorney wrote in both blog posts would be acceptable and, it seems in this case, necessary to argue to a jury in closing argument in his client’s case. In a court of law open to the general public, where the transcript or recording would be publicly available. Here’s to hoping that the Michigan Bar sides with the Constitution and not with Dr. Griffin.