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Tripped Up By Recent Rulings Chipping Away at Michigan’s Open and Obvious Doctrine? Hold On, There’s Still Hope

Premises Liability / November 10, 2022


While we all hold our collective breath for the Michigan Supreme Court to make its latest pronouncements on the future of the open and obvious defense in Michigan, the Michigan Court of Appeals and trial judges often still apply the open and obvious defense when merited. 

In this case, Plaintiff did not know what caused him to fall when he was carrying a furnace backward down Defendant’s stairs, but claimed that a missing handrail would have stopped his fall. He knew the handrail was missing, had worked in Defendant’s basement many times before, and never had a prior problem. The missing handrail was open and obvious, as was the claimed “danger” of going down the staircase without one.

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