Woman who says husband was beaten on lake trip loses appeal

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A woman who claimed her husband was beaten by co-workers on a sailboat before his body was found in a western Michigan lake has lost a key decision at the state appeals court.

Experts who examined Robert Muhammad’s body said he died from an accidental drowning in Muskegon Lake in 2014. But Yreva Muhammad filed a lawsuit on behalf of her husband’s estate, alleging that his Grand Rapids co-workers assaulted him.

Kent County Judge Joseph Rossi dismissed the case, declared the lawsuit frivolous and even ordered Muhammad’s estate to pay $900,000 in attorney fees. The appeals court says there wasn’t a “scintilla of evidence” supporting the assault theory before the lawsuit was filed.

But the court says the judge needs to hold a hearing on the issue of legal fees.

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