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As It Should Have Done in the First Instance

Premises Liability / August 4, 2020

The plain language of MCL 554.139 states that a landlord has a duty to keep the “premises and all common areas fit for the use intended by the parties” and “to keep the premises in reasonable repair during the term of the lease or license, and to comply with the applicable health and safety laws of the state and of the local unit of government where the premises are located. …”


In Rockov v Lilley Pointe Condominium Association, et al., the COA directed the trial court on remand to take into account Wilson v Diamondback Saloon, as it should have done in the first instance, when ruling on the issue of whether the open and obvious danger doctrine can be used to avoid a specific statutory duty. In Wilson, the Court of Appeals addressed duties owed to wheelchair-bound patrons by premises owners, finding that the patron’s use of a wheelchair implicated state statutes pertaining to barrier-free entrances. The Wilson Court ruled that the Defendants in Wilson were precluded from asserting the open and obvious danger doctrine as an absolute bar to the claim.

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