April 7, 2016
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced he is filing a lawsuit in Wayne County to shut down the Summit Women’s Center, an abortion clinic located at 15801 W. McNichols Rd. in Detroit, for illegally operating.
To protect the public, state law requires that medical and other professional services be provided through corporations owned by licensed professionals. Regarding the practice of medicine, this ensures that doctors direct care and supervise medical services. The law also mandates that the corporation is liable for negligence or misconduct in professional services it provides.
Summit Women’s Center provides medical services through Summit of Detroit, P.C., a professional corporation. But, in its May 2015 annual report to the state, Summit P.C. reported that David Lipton—not a licensed physician—was now Summit P.C.’s sole officer, director, and owner and that Summit P.C. had changed its corporate purpose to “management company,” which is not a lawful purpose for a professional corporation. The report also falsely certified that David Lipton was licensed to provide professional medical services.
The Attorney General is bringing this action to halt the clinic from providing medical care to patients at the Summit Women’s Center, to dissolve Summit P.C., and to investigate the possible fraudulent formation of Summit P.C.
Following a complaint in 2014, the Attorney General inquired into an allegation that Summit Women’s Center was illegally providing medical services through Summit Women’s Center of Detroit, Inc. (Summit Inc.), which is not a professional corporation and hence not authorized to provide medical services. Summit Inc. responded, clarifying that medical services were provided through Summit P.C., a professional corporation incorporated in 2011 by licensed physician Alex Pickens, Jr., MD. Satisfied that Summit appeared to be providing medical services lawfully through a professional corporation, the Attorney General closed its complaint and asked Summit to clarify the provision of services on its website. Summit complied. But only a year later, in May 2015, Summit P.C. filed new paperwork with the state falsely certifying that David Lipton was a licensed professional and otherwise ignoring state law governing professional corporations. Ever since, Summit P.C. has been operating illegally, leading to the present complaint.
A civil lawsuit is merely an allegation and defendants are not liable until the Court enters a judgment in the case.