Apartment complex not liable for foliage blocking view from entryway
Bicyclist Harmail Sidhu suffered numerous injuries, including two broken arms, when he swerved to avoid colliding with a car exiting an apartment complex owned by 830 South Main Street, L.L.C. He claimed the incident resulted was caused by a wall of vegetation adjacent to the complex that blocked the view of motorists exiting the complex parking lot. The trial court and Court of Appeals dismissed Sidhu's negligence claim, even though the complex was cited by the City of Ann Arbor for violating an ordinance that required trimming vegetation within the right-of-way.
The Court concluded that since Sidhu was merely a "licensee" on the sidewalk, and since he was aware of the potential traffic conflict at the intersection of the sidewalk and apartment entrance, the landowner and possessor owed him no duty to exercise reasonable care because the hazard presented was "open and obvious." The Court further held that violation of the City ordinance written to preserve driver's view of approaching pedestrians, bikes and vehicles did not establish a legal "duty" to these persons.