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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.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262