Former Michigan State University resident doctor, Michael Phinn, was sentenced late last year to five to 15 years for multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct and using a computer to commit a crime. A woman who worked with Phinn at Sparrow hospital has now filed a lawsuit alleging Michigan State University failed to properly supervise and train him. The lawsuit names not only Phinn but also former dean of Osteopathic Medicine, William Strampel and Michigan State University as defendants.
During the prior police investigation, Phinn admitted to detectives he stole others personal photographs from their computers at Sparrow. Detective Sam Miller testified at a hearing how Phinn would target computers that women had not logged out of. He then would go into Facebook messenger or Google photos and email the women’s private, often intimate, photographs to himself or take pictures of the computer screen.
Described as “a master manipulator” who took advantage and “delights in taking advantage of vulnerable people,” by Judge Ball, who presided over the preliminary examination, Phinn was denied bail throughout the pendency of his case because he posed a risk of danger to the public. In denying bail, Judge Ball commented that in his 25 years as a District Court judge he did not think he had heard of a predator described to the extent that Phinn had been.
Predators thrive in big institutions, such as Universities, religious organizations and companies, because of the lack of training, supervision and deliberate indifference to inappropriate and illegal behavior that takes place within those institutions. The decision to protect a perpetrator and, above all, protect the organization over accepting accountability to employees and survivors who have endured egregious conduct is appalling. Attorneys at Grewal Law, PLLC are here to support survivors in seeking justice as well as hold institutions accountable.
Sammie Eyde began working at Grewal Law, PLLC in April 2019. Although recently licensed in Michigan, Ms. Eyde’s experience in California as a Deputy Public Defender gave her tremendous experience in handling all phases of a criminal case from arraignment through trial and all the way to post-sentencing matters.