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Premises Liability

Premises Liability / November 29, 2017

Court/Case No: Oakland County Circuit Court/17-158087-NO

Tried/Argued Before: Judge

Demand:  $150,000.00

Verdict: $0 – Motion for Summary Disposition granted on both counts, case dismissed

Name of Judge(s): Honorable Hala Jarbou

Keys to the Case:

Plaintiff filed an action against Defendant CKV Investments following a slip and fall on “black ice”, while entering an apartment building in which he was a tenant. Plaintiff ruptured a left quadriceps tendon and ACL ligament requiring surgery. Plaintiff claimed Defendant violated duties owed to him under both the common law and the Michigan Landlord/Tenant Act.

At his deposition, Plaintiff testified that he observed drifting snow, footprints in the snow, and flurries prior to his fall. Also, weather records show that it had snowed lightly that day and the previous two days, and that the temperature had hovered around freezing through the day of Plaintiff’s fall. Additionally, the hazard was not unavoidable as Plaintiff had the option of using the back door and therefore was not forced to confront the risk. Plaintiff also testified that he fell while walking up to his door that it had snowed about an inch to an inch and a half, and that he had used the same walkway about a day and a half before without incident. He could tell that other people had used that area because he observed tracks in the snow. He was not aware of anyone falling that night. Finally, Plaintiff presented speculative testimony that it was his “guess” that it snowed the “day before or a couple of days before it snowed.” This was insufficient proof on the notice element.

Defendant argued that there was no liability for the fall because (1) The condition was open and obvious and did not present any special aspects; (2) Plaintiff’s claim under MCL 554.139(1)(a) fails because the sidewalk was fit for its intended purpose; and (3) Both Plaintiff’s statutory and premises liability claims fail because there is no evidence that Defendants had actual or constructive notice of the ice patch on the sidewalk.

Upon oral argument from counsel, Judge Jarbou took the matter under advisement and ultimately issued an opinion granting summary disposition in favor of Defendant.

Defense SW attorney(s) Involved in Case:


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