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Supreme Court Declines to Give Second Look to Controversial Premises Liability Case

Premises Liability / March 23, 2020

In Blackwell v Franchi, 327 Mich App 354 (2019), the Court of Appeals held – in a split decision – that reasonable persons could disagree about whether a “nonvisible change in floor level, presented an unreasonable risk of harm, whether plaintiff knew or had reason to know of the condition and the risk involved, and whether defendants should have expected that plaintiff would not have discovered the hazard before falling victim to it,” so it is a question for the jury.

This week, the Supreme Court – which had previously reviewed the case, Blackwell v Franchi, 502 Mich 918 (2018) – declined to review it a second time, leaving the Court of Appeals’ published 2019 opinion in place. Blackwell v Franchi, ___ Mich ___ (2020) (Docket No. 159491).

Justices Markman and Zahra would have reversed the Court of Appeals and reinstated the trial court’s grant of summary disposition in favor of Defendants. Blackwell, ___ Mich at ___; slip op at 5 (Markman, J., dissenting).

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