COA gives the cold shoulder to any special aspects of plaintiff’s icy slip-and-fall

In Bullard v. Oakwood Annapolis Hospital, No. 317334, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that Mr. Bullard could not show the necessary “special aspects” of an open and obvious hazard in order for Oakwood to be liable for his slip-and-fall injuries. The Court remanded the case with an order to grant Oakwood’s motion for summary disposition. Read More

COA: Verbal notice of special hearing before local tax board is constitutionally insufficient

In Spranger v. City of Warren, No. 316180, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that Warren’s local tax board owed Ms. Spranger a mailed notice of her special hearing date.  The Court of Appeals remanded Ms. Spranger’s case to the Tax Tribunal for a de novo proceeding. Read More

COA holds that a party may not avoid the open and obvious doctrine by alleging ordinary negligence

The Michigan Court of Appeals in Jahnke v. Allen, No. 317625 held that the open and obvious doctrine remains in force for a premises liability case, and a party may not claim ordinary negligence to avoid it. Read More

MSC holds that private third party records may be considered public records subject to FOIA disclosure requirements

In Amberg v. City of Dearborn, No. 149242, the Michigan Supreme Court held that private third party records may be public records subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) so long as the government collects or retains the record in the performance of an official function. Read More

Proposed MSC Rule Change #3: Amici may respond as of right to rehearing motions

For those of us who regularly represent industry associations, trade organizations, and other interest groups in the Michigan Supreme Court, the proposed rule to allow amici to answer rehearing motions is quite welcomed.  Under the current rule, MCR 7.313(E), only the parties can answer a motion for rehearing by right.  Amici would have to file a motion with their answer, requesting permission to file, at the risk (however minimal) of having the motion denied and wasting their time and money.  Under proposed MCR 7.311(F), "any party or amicus curiae that participated in the case may answer a motion for rehearing."  At the very least, those amici who do undertake the expense of responding will have the comfort of knowing their submission will be accepted.  Read More

MSC to determine when a legal malpractice claim accrues

The Michigan Supreme Court granted leave to appeal in Bernstein v. Seyburn, Kahn, Ginn, Bess, & Serlin PC, No. 149032, to determine whether Bernstein’s malpractice claim accrued at the time Bess discontinued general legal services to Bernstein and whether those services were matters out of which the malpractice claim arose. Read More

COA clarifies a merchant’s duty to provide adequate security at a nightclub

The Michigan Court of Appeals in Mouzon v. Blackwell Center, No. 312219 held that a nightclub did not breach its duty to patrons when it did not provide armed security guards nor notify authorities of a shooting because police were already on the scene. Read More

COA holds transfers of assets used to pay ordinary household expenses remain subject to challenge under MUFTA

The Michigan Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (“MUFTA”) was designed to prevent creditors from transferring their property in bad faith before creditors could reach it. The Michigan Court of Appeals in Bentley Terrace Dillard v. Mark E. Schlussel, No. 315485, held that a debtor’s transfer of assets for the purpose of paying the debtor’s ordinary household expenses does not immunize the transfers from challenge under the MUFTA. Read More

COA: Healthcare providers have standing to sue no-fault insurers for PIP benefits

The Court of Appeals concluded that healthcare providers have standing to sue insurers for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits under the no-fault act. The Court therefore affirmed the trial court’s denial of the defendant-insurer’s motion for summary disposition in Wyoming Chiropractic Health Clinic, PC v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co., No. 317876. Read More

COA affirms denial of PIP, uninsured motorist benefits

In Bahri v. IDS Property Casualty Company, No. 316869, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that an insured who submitted fraudulent receipts for replacement services was not entitled to first-party personal injury protection benefits or uninsured motorist benefits under the terms of her policy. The plaintiff was involved in a car accident in 2011. The police report stated that it was a two car accident, but the plaintiff testified that another unidentified vehicle caused her to hit the other car. Read More
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