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Testimony Is Key: Court of Appeals Reverses Denial of Summary Disposition and Holds that Open and Obvious Doctrine Applies

Premises Liability / May 23, 2019

It can be difficult to convince the Court of Appeals to overturn a trial court denial of a motion for summary disposition, especially when a question of fact is found. However, Erica Deas v Hartman and Tyner, Inc., unpublished per curiam opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued April 25, 2019 (Docket No. 340068), demonstrates that calculated deposition answers must be elicited to protect the record. Here, Plaintiff provided testimony that completely undermined her claim.

Even though it is unpublished, Deas confirms long-standing Michigan law regarding snow, ice, and the application of the open and obvious doctrine. Additionally, a lack of lighting alone does not create “special aspects” needed to defeat the open and obvious doctrine.

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