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Have a Nice Trip! COA Rules Ownership of Property Unnecessary for ‘Possession and Control’ in Premises Liability Claim

Premises Liability / May 3, 2018

In the recently published opinion re Finazzo v Fire Equipment Company et al, _ Mich App _ (2018), the MI COA confirmed that “possession and control” for purposes of a premises liability claim does not require the defendant to be the actual owner of the property at the time of the alleged injury. The decision makes clear that a party can be liable under a theory of premises liability regardless of their “ownership” of the subject property. All that is required is possession and control of the location at the time of the claimed injury. Accordingly, the “open and obvious” doctrine has essentially been expanded to any defendant who exercised possession and control, rather than just the landowner.

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