Elisabeth Ostendorf, a researcher, who came from Germany to continue her work at Michigan State University is still battling in the court room after being permanently and severely injured on campus.
Ostendorf was hit by a university truck 2014 and doctors didn’t think she would make it.
Today, Ostendorf is still alive, but bound to a wheelchair, but her case is still going through courts.
Now the battle is over who is going to pay for Ostendorf’s long term care.
Michigan State came to the conclusion that Ostendorf was not eligible for workers compensation since it happened after she clocked out of work and was on her way to her car. Ostendorf is also exempted under the a provision of workers compensation law called foreign national exclusion.
In 2017, the Court of Claims awarded $7.5 million dollars and found MSU negligent during the incident, but Michigan State’s insurer refused to pay.
United Educators, MSU’s insurance company says Ostendorf is eligible for workers compensation and only pays for liability claims, but MSU and now 13 other judges disagree.
“That argument has now been presented to thirteen different judges, all of whom have resoundingly said that United Educators is wrong,” said Ostendorf’s attorney, George Sinas.
Yesterday, the Court of Appeals released a public opinion favoring Ostendorf in the case. The next move for United Educators would be to take it to the state Supreme Court.
A few months ago, Michigan State filed a motion to have the court find United Educators guilty of frivolous appeals.
“The poor victim is sitting here, continuing to be a victim, locked not only in her wheelchair, but locked in a legal dispute that just won’t end,” said Sinas.
Sinas says this case has gone on long enough and Ostendorf deserves justice.
6 News reached out to United Educators and they said
“We’re reviewing the court documents and, as always, wish Dr. Ostendorf the best in her recovery.”
6 News also reached out to Michigan State University, but did not hear back.