Claim against City of Grosse Pointe for sidewalk defect is dismissed
Paticia Hogrebe sued the City of Grosse Pointe after tripping on a large crack in the sidewalk (a "discontinuity" in the vernacular) and falling. She argued that the City was put on notice of the discontinuity defect by reason of the defect's existence for more than 30 days. A municipality is only responsible for sidewalk defects that it knows about or should know about, and a defect that has existed for 30 days is deemed, by statute, to have provided notice to the city.Hogrebe's attorneys argued that their expert would confirm the defect in the sidewalk was more than 30 days old and therefore the City should be deemed to have notice of its existence--particularly since meter readers walked the sidewalk daily. The Appeals Court rejected this argument and essentially ruled, as a matter of law, that the defect was not readily observeable by its meter readers. It would seem that the decision regarding whether the meter readers "should have observed" the crack is a question of fact for the jury. The judges decided it was not, given the proofs offered by Hogrebe's attorneys.