Court summarily dismisses apartment renter's claim against landlord and snow plowing company: "no duty"
When John Kosinski fell and fractured his ankle on his way to his car in the morning, he attempted to pursue a claim against his landlord and the snow removal contractor for negligence. He argued that the landlord and the contractor had not adequately removed snow from the sidewalk and had allowed it to be piled where it melted on to the sidewalk, creating a black ice hazard. He argued that because the lighting was inadequate, he didn't see the ice in time to avoid the danger.
The Court of Appeals noted recent precedent of the Michigan Supreme Court's majority which applied to Kosinski's claim. It held that since he was aware, generally, of the nature of Michigan winter weather, the presence of "black ice" was an "open and obvious danger" which the landlord owed no duty to address. The Court also held that since the fall was caused by a condition on the premises, Kosinski couldn't argue that the contractor didn't act with reasonable care, and that in any event, the contractor owed him no "duty" because the contractor's only duty was to the landlord.