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Court of Appeals Illuminates the Issue: Is Darkness Open and Obvious?

Premises Liability / February 28, 2022

This case, although unpublished, is notable for two points. The first is that darkness is itself open and obvious, and a premises liability claim alleging a condition of darkness will fall to the open and obvious doctrine, unless the darkness conceals some other hazardous condition.

Secondly, the majority unequivocally affirmed that a claim under MCL 554.139 may not be maintained against one who is not a lessor of residential premises. “If no lease exists between the plaintiff and the defendant, then the defendant is not a lessor, and no duty can be imposed under MCL 554.139(1).”

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