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Court sends slip and fall case back to trial court for trial

Jacquelyn Robbins sued the Village Crest Condominium after she fell and suffered a fracture hip.  Robbins did not know why she "slipped" and denied that there were any indications of the presence of ice before her fall.  The EMTs recorded, however, that they encountered ice in caring for Robbins.  The weather records indicated that it hadn't snowed or rained for at least two days prior to the fall, and that there were no apparent weather conditions that would have alerted Robbins to the presence of "black ice."

The Court of Appeals majority concluded that the evidence of ice as the cause of the fall was adequate to send the case to the jury for decision. The majority also ruled that with no evidence to alert Robbins of adverse weather or ice hazards, the ice was not necessarily an "open and obvious danger" that would have been visible on casual inspection.  Judge Henry Saad, the insurer's best friend, dissented.  He would hold that any fall on ice {"during winter weather conditions"] should be summarily dismissed. He would also hold that Robbins' admission that she didn't know why she slipped should preclude any negligence action, regardless of the evidence produced by other witnesses.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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