Babysitter who falls on obscured hose lying on stairs has no claim against homeowner
Taking the "open and obvious" defense to its zenith, a Court of Appeals panel upheld the dismissal of a babysitter's injury claim arising out of a fall on outdoor steps. While chasing one of the defendants' children, the plaintiff stumbled over a garden hose that had been left lying across the stairs. The plaintiff, Marija Berisaj, explained that she did not see the hose because it was partially obscured by the overhang of the step above the step where the hose was lying.
The Court of Appeals held that the hose remained an "open and obvious danger" and "visible on casual inspection." The Court concluded that Mrs. Berisaj's need to descend the steps rapidly while chasing the child was irrelevant to the landowner's duty to remediate an "obvious" danger.
So, the Engler Majority has shifted the "burden of safety" from someone negligently leaving a garden hose across the back steps----to a babysitter who is on the property as a business guest,and forced to descend the steps rapidly to safely supervise a child. This is what normal people call "judicial activism;" or simply law as interpreted by and for insurance companies.