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“Steps and Differing Floor Levels” Remain Open and Obvious (For Now)

Premises Liability / March 27, 2023

Earlier this month, in Lavallis v Oakland Physicians Med Ctr, LLC, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued March 9, 2023 (Docket No. 359736) – the panel found that a “3-inch elevated step at the threshold of the door” to a hospital’s urgent care center was open and obvious, and did not present any special aspects.

The panel reached this result despite the Plaintiff’s argument that the step violated multiple parts of the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code (“IPMC”) and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (“MIOSHA”). 

The ruling comes on the heels of multiple Supreme Court Orders that cast doubt on the future of the open and obvious doctrine. See Ramic v Bullock Enterprises, LLC, 975 NW2d 917 (Mich, 2022); Grilli v Mon Jin Lau, Inc, 975 NW2d 465 (Mich, 2022); Kandil-Elsayed v F & E Oil, Inc, 969 NW2d 69 (Mich, 2022); Pinsky v Kroger Co of Michigan, 972 NW2d 256 (Mich, 2022).

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