Bruce Vande Vusse is a litigator who has tried more than 100 cases to verdict in more than 41 years of practice.
Much of his litigation experience has been in the defense of health care providers, including hospitals, their affiliates, physicians, nurses and other providers. He has handled and tried cases involving birth trauma, neurologic injury, wrongful death and nursing practice matters. In addition to defending professional liability matters, he consults on health care matters including staff privileges, medical records issues, peer review, licensing investigations, Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA) and managed care participation and termination.
Bruce litigates business and commercial cases in both state and federal courts, in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution forums. He has handled such diverse matters as breach of commercial contracts, sales commission disputes, LLC formation and member disputes, music industry royalty claims, Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act actions, Lanham Act false origin claims, unfair competition and Michigan Uniform Trade Secrets Act (MUTSA) claims as well as Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) wage and hour class action litigation.
Bruce has lectured for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) and clients and has written about legal developments in litigation in Michigan Lawyers Weekly and health care publications. He has been named a top lawyer by Best Lawyers annually since 2007 and has been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell since 1988.
He was a Trustee of Starr Commonwealth from 2009-2018, serving on the Executive Committee as Secretary and Chairman of the Audit Committee. He was also a Trustee of the Children’s Home of Detroit from 2000-2009, the last two years serving as President of the Board of Trustees.
Honors & Recognitions
AV® Preeminent™ Martindale-Hubbell since 1988
Best Lawyers in America® 2007-2021 (Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants)
dbusiness magazine 2009-2014 Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit
Memberships & Affiliations
- State Bar of Michigan
- American Bar Association
- Michigan Defense Trial Counsel
- Defense Research Institute
- Starr Commonwealth
- Board of Trustees 2009-2018
- Executive Committee
- Audit Committee, Chair
- Children's Home of Detroit
- Board of Trustees 2000-2009
- President of Board of Trustees 2008-2009
- First Christian Reformed Church, Elder and President of Council 2011-2014
- February, 2018: Client financial company attempted to launch a debit card program for convenience store payments. Client contracted with Plaintiff marketing company to place necessary equipment for web-based payment system. Debit card program failed in the market place and program was discontinued. Plaintiff's marketing and sales contract was terminated. Plaintiff sued for breach of contract claiming damages were greater than $1,250,000.00. In a Detroit federal court bench trial, while the Court found defendant financial company had breached the contract, it rejected most of Plaintiff's damage claims as unsupported by evidence or speculative in a startup business setting. The court awarded Plaintiff just over $40,000 (3.23% of their requested damages). Client financial company was entitled to an $11,700 recovery against Plaintiff related to Court's pretrial dismissal of Plaintiff's sales commission act claims. (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan)
- March, 2015: Obtained a summary disposition of dismissal for client dermatologist on claim of causing permanent trigeminal nerve injury to patient's upper jaw and cheek as result of elective cosmetic filler injection. (Macomb County Circuit Court)
- September, 2014: Obtained a federal court jury verdict for client sporting goods manufacturer against its former production manager and outside sales agent and their companies. A unanimous jury found in client's favor on counts alleging federal Lanham Act false designation of origin claims, unfair competition, breaches of fiduciary duties and duties of loyalty, and civil conspiracy. (U.S. District Court, Eastern District, Michigan)
- January, 2014: Part of a team of Foster Swift litigators who obtained summary dismissal of a former band manager’s breach of contract and conversion suit for non-payment of royalties by client rock and roll band when the court ruled that band manager’s non-attorney contingent fee litigation broker/middleman contract violated public policy and was void and unenforceable. (Oakland County Circuit Court)
- January, 2014: Part of a team of Foster Swift litigators who obtained summary dismissal for a business owner and his LLC of a breach of contract and conversion suit for not paying sale-of-business distributions to plaintiffs who claimed to be 50 percent owners of the LLC. The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that plaintiffs’ claims were attempts to avoid non-compete agreements from the sale of a prior business, constituted fraud on the third party purchaser of the prior company who had paid valuable consideration for the non-compete agreements and Michigan courts will not be used to perpetuate fraud.
- October, 2013: No Cause (“no professional negligence”) defense verdict for client hospital and nurses in claimed multiple fracture injury case. Plaintiff found 100% comparatively negligent. (Midland County Circuit Court)
- June, 2013: Birth trauma litigation dismissed without payment for client physician on the day of trial. (Monroe County Circuit Court)
- February, 2013: No Cause (“no professional negligence”) defense verdict for client physician in wrongful death claim of premature infant based on claimed substandard maternal prenatal care. (Genesee County Circuit Court)
- November, 2010: Szpak vs. Inyang, 290 Mich App 711, 803 NW 2d 94 (2010) – It is an abuse of a trial court’s discretion to order, as condition for granting a Qualified Protective Order for defense counsel to hold ex parte meetings with a Plaintiff’s treating health care providers, that Plaintiff’s attorney be given notice and an opportunity to attend such meetings without a showing of reasonable concern for intimidation or harassment of the health care provider.
- Litigation 101 - What Happens in a Lawsuit?, Foster Swift Health Care Law E-News, October 11, 2012
- Negligent Credentialing - Physician with Multiple Malpractice Claims, Foster Swift Health Care Law E-News, May 2012
- Too Much Company Required: Plaintiff Attorneys at Defense Attorney Meetings with Healthcare Providers, Foster Swift Medical Malpractice E-News, December 2, 2010
- A High Cap Exception Explained, Foster Swift Medical Malpractice E-News, October 6, 2009
- Breach of Confidence is Malpractice, Foster Swift Medical Malpractice E-News, March 6, 2009
- Household Services - Wrongful Death Damage Recovery, Foster Swift Medical Malpractice E-News, December 18, 2008
News & Events
- Michigan Health Law Institute, ICLE, 2017
- Foster Swift Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers in America©, August 20, 2020
- 42 Foster Swift Attorneys Listed as Best Lawyers® 2020, August 15, 2019
- 45 Foster Swift Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America© 2019, August 15, 2018
- 46 Foster Swift Attorneys Named to 2018 Best Lawyers in America®, August 21, 2017
- Eight Foster Swift Attorneys Recognized as Best Lawyers® 2017 "Lawyer of the Year", August 25, 2016
- 44 Foster Swift Attorneys Named to 2016 Best Lawyers in America® Roster, August 21, 2015
- Foster Swift wins Federal Court Jury Verdict for Internationally Recognized Manufacturer of Custom Hockey Equipment, November 14, 2014
University of Detroit, J.D., 1977
Calvin College, B.A., 1974
Bar and Court Admissions
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals