Court rejects argument that uneven stair risers constitute a defect that is not obvious
For the second time, the Court of Appeals has rejected the testimony of architects and held that unequal riser heights on a stairway constitute a defect or hazard that is open and obvious. In fact, architects and building codes recognize that unequal riser heights in stairs are a hazard and one which users are not likely to appreciate before they cause a fall. Despite the "science" behind these real-world Codes and opinions, the Michigan courts now hold that owners owe no duty to invitees on the premises who are injured by a fall on an uneven stairway. Owners owe a duty to the public and can be required to comply with the applicable building code, but this duty does not extend to person hurt in a fall caused by the unequal risers.