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Court holds notice of injury is defective; dismissed motorcyclist's injury claim

Republican Judges Christopher Murray and William Whitbeck enjoyed a satisfying week, dismissing two serious injury cases this week.  In the Marcoux case, they held that a van parked so that it blocked "only" half of a residential travel lane did not pose an "unreasonable" risk of harm.  In Agee v. Department of Transportation, they dismissed a motorcyclist's claim against the road authority.  In a notice of injury sent 15 days after the accident, Agee claimed he lost control of his bike on "the Service Drive for Southbound Southfield Freeway at Ford Road."  He claimed the cause of the accident was "defective pavement."

The Court of Appeals reversed the trial judge and ruled that Agee's notice to the State was inadequate, both in describing the location and in describing the nature of the defect in the road.  While the Department admittedly suffered no prejudice from the brevity of Agee's notice, the judges ruled that it was "imprecise" and "vague" and therefore did not comply with the statutory requirement, because the Service Road is nealy one-quarter mile long in total.  While hospitalized, apparently Mr. Agee should have sent a family member out with a tape measure and camera to record the "exact" defect for state engineers.
Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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