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Premises Liability – Contractual Indemnity

Premises Liability / April 26, 2012

Court/Case No: Michigan Court of Appeals / Case No. 301484

Tried/Argued Before: 

Demand: $3.5 million

Verdict: Summary Disposition granted on appeal / $0

Name of Judge(s): Cynthia Diane Stephens, William C. Whitbeck, and Jane M. Beckering

Keys to the Case:

This case actually presented two lawsuits in one, and had to be treated as such. Secrest Wardle’s client, Laurel Chapel, was sued by Plaintiff Dombrowski under a premises liability theory, after she slipped and fell on ice. Laurel Chapel operated a wedding chapel in a building it leased from Villa Del Signore. Plaintiff also sued Villa Del Signore, which in turn sued Laurel Chapel for indemnity based upon a provision in the lease. Laurel Chapel argued that the premises liability claim was barred by the open and obvious doctrine. Apart from this, Laurel Chapel argued that Villa Del Signore was not entitled to indemnity for several reasons, relating to the particular language of the lease. Laurel Chapel’s motions for summary disposition on these issues were denied in the trial court, but the Court of Appeals granted leave to appeal and ultimately reversed. The Court of Appeals held that both of Laurel Chapel’s motions for summary disposition should have been granted.

 

 

Defense SW attorney(s) Involved in Case:

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