Premises Liability

Court/Case No: Wayne County Circuit Court/16-011614-NO

Tried/Argued Before: Judge

Demand: $50,000.00

Verdict: $0 – Motion for Summary Disposition granted

Name of Judge(s): Honorable Sheila Gibson

Keys to the Case:

The plaintiff alleged serious injuries arising out of an incident which occurred on private property while he was a trespasser. The plaintiff was riding his bicycle on a path located in the center of a property that was once operated as a public school but, at the time of the incident, was private property that had been purchased by a developer for the purpose of converting the property into a residential development. 

Prior to the date of the incident, the defendant had granted access to a limited area of the property to another developer for its employees to park their vehicles while working on an adjacent property. To limit those employees from accessing another part of the subject property, the defendant had strung a wire across a path that would grant access to the upper parking lot. The wire was spray-painted orange and a “Keep Out” sign was hung from it. 

The plaintiff trespassed onto the property to look at the back of the neighboring apartments and rode his bike down the path, colliding with the wire and sustaining injury when he fell over his handlebars. The plaintiff argued that he was not a trespasser because he did not know that the property was private property, but did not cite any case law to support that position.

Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Disposition, contending that it had not breached any duty to the plaintiff as a trespasser and, in the alternative, if the plaintiff was somehow determined to be a licensee, that the condition was open and obvious. The Court agreed with the defendant’s contention that the plaintiff was a trespasser on the land and that it had not breached any duty to the plaintiff and dismissed the case.

Defense SW attorney(s) Involved in Case: Renee T. Townsend

Result Date: 03/21/2018
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