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A Better Partnership
April 06, 2009

MSC Order: Sazima v. Shepherd Bar & Restaurant

On April 3, 2009, the Michigan Supreme Court granted reconsideration of its December 17, 2008 order reversing the ruling of the Workers' Compensation Appellate Commission. The order is noteworthy only in that it is another reversal of a 4-3 decision of the Court from this term in which Chief Justice Taylor was in the majority. After holding oral argument on the application for leave, the Court ruled on December 17, 2008 that because Sazima was injured while walking to work after parking her car on a public street, her injury did not occur during the course of her employment and was not covered by the Workers' Compensation Act. Justices Cavanagh, Kelly, and Weaver dissented. With the replacement of Chief Justice Taylor by Justice Hathaway, the dissenters overturned the Court's previous order drawing a dissent from Justice Markman in which he contends that the Court's decision can only be explained by the change in the composition of the Court. The Court's order and Justice Markman's dissent have drawn statewide media coverage, including by Michigan's National Public Radio affiliates. Ultimately, the April 3 order has no precedential effect as it merely denies leave to appeal an underlying Court of Appeals order also denying leave to appeal. The order granting reconsideration is here. The Court's now-vacated December 17, 2008 order is here.

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