Court reaffirms landlord's duty to summon police where alerted to imminent criminal actions of a third-party
In Devon Scott Bailey v. Steven Gerome Schaaf, et al., a panel of the Court of Appeals issued yet another decision after remand from the Michigan Supreme Court. Bailey sued his landlord and its security agents after the complex received warning that Defendant Schaaf was stalking the premises with a gun and failed to act. Bailey was shot and suffered serious injuries and sued the gunman, the landlord and the security people and agency who were on duty at the time.
The Court analyzed its instructions from the Supreme Court that limited the liability exposure of the defendants, and applied recent precedent to the facts. It concluded that while Bailey couldn't sue the security agency or employees, because under Michigan Supreme Court logic, they owed no duty to Bailey, he could sue the owner of the apartment complex. In essence, since the apartment complex's agents were aware of the threatened imminent criminal threat and failed to act, the apartment had violated its common law duty to respond. Even though Bailey cannot sue the security people, the apartment complex may be able to sue them for breach of contract--the only duty they owed to anyone involved.