Losing Geddes Ridge
After a last-ditch legal battle, two U-M physicians were evicted from their dream home in May.
From the June, 2018 issue
Radiologists Brad Foerster and Myria Petrou moved into their Geddes Ridge mansion in November 2016. Less than three months later, their builder sued to enforce nearly a quarter-million dollars' worth of liens.
The doctors responded with a dizzying array of litigation. They've sued dozens of defendants--including the builder, their architects, mortgage and title companies, the city, and even Petrou's mother--who they claim conspired to drive them from the home. They sued the Observer, too, after it reported on the lawsuits ("The Battle of Geddes Ridge," January 2018).
That federal case was dismissed after the judge concluded that it was filed with a forged signature, but large parts live on in another suit filed in Washtenaw County Circuit Court in January. Acting as their own attorneys, the doctors accused twenty-three individual and corporate defendants of everything from mortgage fraud to legal malpractice. And they sought an injunction against being evicted from the Geddes Ridge house, which was foreclosed on last summer.
The injunction wasn't granted, and in early May the doctors' belongings were piled in the dirt outside their dream house. It's unclear where they're living now, and no one responded to emails to the address listed in the complaint.
At least the cats emerged unscathed. In one of the story's strangest twists, neighbors who read the January Observer story looked at the doctors' blog--where they spotted photos of their own two missing cats (Inside Ann Arbor, April). When the doctors refused to return them, David and Stacy Markel sued. Their attorney--their daughter Alexandra Markel--confirms that Bear and Atticus are now back home.
The doctor's own nearly 600-page January lawsuit remains active, but judge Carol Kuhnke has already dismissed eleven defendants. Kuhnke also awarded two of their former lawyers almost $38,000 in sanctions, reflecting their cost to defend themselves against the doctors' "frivolous" claims.
But the doctors aren't giving up. The same day they filed the fruitless request for an injunction, they apparently wrote a letter to Robert
Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. In the letter, a copy of which was provided to the Observer anonymously, they claim to have information about election meddling--and a racketeering network that launders Russian money in Cyprus.
If the letter is legitimate, Petrou and Foerster now see themselves as victims of a global conspiracy. It says they are "huge targets for this racketeering network," and "are constantly battling fabricated criminal allegations aimed to discredit us as well as significant adversities in all aspects of our lives."
[Originally published in June, 2018.]
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