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Working for a Livings: “Effectively Unavoidable” is an Effective Way to Avoid the Open and Obvious Doctrine

Premises Liability / June 30, 2021

Livings v Sage’s Investment Group, LLC, ___ Mich ___; ___ NW2d ___ (2021) (Docket No. 159692) underscores that property owners can face liability even for open and obvious hazards if “special aspects exist” that make the hazard “effectively unavoidable.” 

“[A] hazard can be deemed effectively unavoidable if the plaintiff confronted it to enter his or her place of employment for purposes of work.” Livings, ___ Mich at ___; slip op at 17-18. 

Livings overrules Bullard v Oakwood Annapolis Hosp, 308 Mich App 403, 412 (2014), which held that “[t]he mere fact that a plaintiff’s employment might involve facing an open and obvious hazard does not make the open and obvious hazard effectively unavoidable.

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