Court rejects trial judge's "no duty" analysis but affirms summary disposition
Thomas Kalinowski ordered a prefabricated carport from Menards. When it was delivered by J & R Trucking, LLC, the driver parked his semi-tractor across from Kalinowski's home. The tractor and trailer intruded over the fog line and into the traveled portion of the highway. A driver named Robert McAlester dozed off as he approached the scene and struck both Kalinowski and the tractor-trailer at high speed.
Kalinowski sued McAlester and J & R Trucking for his injuries. The trial judge from Bay County ruled that J & R "owed no duty" to Kalinowski and therefore he could not sue J & R for negligence. Kalinowski appealed this decision to the Court of Appeals. The panel concluded that since McAlester struck the plaintiff and the truck simultaneously, while asleep, the presence of truck in the travelled portion of the highway played no role in causing Kalinowski's injuries. The higher court agreed with Kalinowski that the truck driver owed him and all other persons in the vicinity the duty to act reasonably in parking the semi, but emphasized that in this case the truck driver's negligence in blocking a section of the road did not cause the sleeping McAlester's vehicle to srike Kalinowski. Summary disposition was therfore upheld.