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Caution, Slippery When Wet: Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules that Sufficient Warning Signs Existed for the Application of the Open and Obvious Defense
Plaintiffs routinely plead premises liability cases under the guise of common law to avoid the open and obvious defense. However, as seen in Lapcyznski, premises liability defenses apply when the alleged danger arises out of a condition on the land. As always, it is important to look beyond the initial pleadings when developing a defense.
Lapcyznski is unpublished and not binding. However, the application of binding Michigan law makes this case particularly persuasive in similar situations. It provides further guidance on the type of weather situations that can lead to an open and obvious condition. Additionally, minor unresolved facts will not defeat the open and obvious defense. When there is other indicia of a hazardous condition, such as wet floors, the defense will apply.
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