MATTHEW J. CHAPIN is an Associate Attorney at Vandeveer Garzia. He focuses his practice on defense litigation in the areas of first and third-party motor vehicle claims, personal injury, catastrophic first-party automobile claims and general negligence. In 2013, Matthew graduated from the University Detroit Mercy School of Law. While in law school, Matthew was a member of the law review and earned the Golden Book Award in the school’s legal writing and research course. Prior to joining Vandeveer Garzia, Matthew gained experience practicing in the area of creditors’ rights and bankruptcy law. Since joining the firm, Matthew has gained valuable experience and has obtained successful results in a variety of matters, including defending wrongful death and premises liability claims.
Bowling Green State University, B. S., Criminal Justice, magna cum laude, 2010
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, J.D. 2013
State Bar of Michigan 2013
United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan 2016
United States District Court, Western District of Michigan 2016
State Bar of Michigan
Summary Disposition for Tim Connaughton and Matt Chapin
Morton v Theta Chis Fraternity
Tim Connaughton and Matt Chapin successfully defended a wrongful death case by obtaining a summary disposition from Judge Daniel J. Kelley in St. Clair County Circuit Court. We represented the President of the Zeta Tau Chapter of Theta Chi at the University of Michigan-Flint. The case arose out of a social outing at the Port Huron Float Down, in which some members and non-members of the fraternity attended. An attendee within the group, who was a minor, became intoxicated and unfortunately drowned. The Estate brought suit against our client, the national and local chapter of the fraternity, and another individual member. Plaintiff was seeking $7,000,000 in damages. Plaintiff alleged that as the President of Zeta Tau our client owed a duty of care to the decedent to not allow the furnishing of alcohol to a minor and had an obligation to uphold the fraternity’s policies and procedures regarding the furnishing of alcohol to minors.
Through discovery and extensive research we were able to establish that our client did not owe a duty of care because the Port Huron Float Down was not a sanctioned fraternity event, there was no evidence our client furnished alcohol to the decedent and there was no evidence that he allowed the furnishing of alcohol to the decedent. Furthermore, we were able to establish that our client had no involvement in the planning of the event. The judge agreed that our client did not owe a duty of care to the decedent and granted our Motion for Summary Disposition.
Partial Summary Disposition for our client
Williams v Allstate
Armin Halilovic and Matt Chapin successfully obtained a Partial Summary Disposition in Wayne County Circuit Court. In representing a no-fault insurer in a consolidated action, they filed and argued a Motion for Partial Summary Disposition relative to Plaintiffs’ claims for attendant care and replacement services. Based on testimony stating there was no expectation of payment, and arguing there was a lack of reasonable proof, the court granted the Motion for Partial Summary Disposition. In winning this Motion, Armin and Matt were able to minimize potential liability.