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One Court of Justice Blog

Dec 2016
December 15, 2016

MSC: Onus is on plaintiff not defendant, to prove notice of hazard in slip and fall case

In Lowrey v. LMPS & LMPJ Inc, No. 153025, the Michigan Supreme Court, without oral argument, held the Court of Appeals erred when it both improperly shifted the burden to defendant to prove its lack of notice of a hazardous condition and imposed a new element necessary to prove such lack of notice thereby improperly imposing a new requirement on premises owners seeking summary disposition. Accordingly, the Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals regarding defendant’s notice, reinstated the trial court’s order granting summary disposition in favor of defendant on that issue, and vacated the remainder of the Court of Appeals’ opinion.

Jun 2016
June 15, 2016

COA: No premises liability unless defendant has possession and control of the property

The Michigan Court of Appeals held that an individual may not recover from a defendant who does not owe a legal duty in Morelli v Madison Heights, Docket No. 326621.  The Court affirmed the decision in Morrow v Boldt, 203 Mich App 324, 328; 512 NW2d 83 (1994), that a plaintiff may only receive damages from a defendant for injuries from conditions of land if that defendant has legal possession and control of the premises.

Dec 2015
December 14, 2015

COA - Slip and fall plaintiff did not have burden to present evidence establishing a question of fact in defendant’s motion for summary disposition

A defendant does not meet “his or her burden of production . . . by simply stating a belief that the plaintiff will be unable to present evidence to establish an element at trial,” according to the Court of Appeals decision in Lowrey v. LMPS & LMPJ, Inc. and KSK Hospitality Group, Inc., d/b/a Woody’s Diner, No. 323049.  The COA held that the trial court erred when it granted KSK Hospitality Group, Inc.’s (“KSK”) motion for summary disposition when the trial court concluded that Lowrey failed to present evidence that KSK had actual or constructive notice of the slippery stairs on which Lowrey was injured.  Because KSK had failed to present evidence “that, if let unrebutted, would establish that it did not have actual or constructive notice of the condition,” KSK’s motion should have been denied.

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