Court of Appeals reverses trial judge and summarily dismisses premises claim against hotel
Several people sued the Southfield Lodge, Inc., doing business as the Marvin's Garden Inn, after a shooting occurred during a party at the Inn. One of the shooting victims died as a result of his wounds. The victims argued that the Lodge was negligent in responding to events as the party spiraled out of control. The attorneys for the Lodge's insurer argued that the hotel owed no duty except to call police when employees became aware of a "risk of imminent harm to identifiable [guests]."
The trial judge ruled that the circumstances created a question of fact with regard to whether the Hotel was negligent under Michigan law. The hotel appealed and the Court of Appeals reversed, granting summary disposition of the shooting victims' claims. The Appeals Court judges cited recent rulings by Michigan's insurance-friendly Supreme Court majority holding that a business cannot and need not anticipate "unforeseeable" criminal behavior.