Cities have no responsibility for injuries on sidewalks if not adjacent to highway
Charles Williams was injured on a section of sidewalk that diverts from Jefferson Avenue to the Detroit River for several hundred yards. There is no sidewalk adjacent to Jefferson along this stretch of road; to use a sidewalk, pedestrians must walk the river. The Court of Appeals unanimously held that the river-side sidewalk in this situation met the statutory definition of a "trailway" and that the City was therefore bound to maintain it "reasonably safe for public travel."
The Supreme Court's Republican majority overturned that decision this week. The high court held that a City has immunity for falls on any sidewalk that is not directly adjacent to the road.