Daimler-Chrysler must respond to injury claim arising out of allegedly dangerous trap door
Timothy Jones suffered severe injuries when he fell through a trap door that a subcontractor's employees had just opened in a mezzanine walkway in Defendant's Sterling Heights Plant. A millwright, Jones was in the plant during change-over to convert conveyor components. He filed suit against D-C, arguing that D-C was responsible for the negligent location and construction of the trap door, and for the negligence of sub-contractor employees in opening the door without erecting barricades. The trial court dismissed his claim, noting that Daimler-Chrysler had no notice of the open trapdoor during the seconds before Jones fell.
The Court of Appeals and agreed with that aspect of the dismissal, however, it reinstated Jones' claim that Daimler-Chrysler was negligent in locating the trapdoor in a high traffic area where it could be opened without providing notice or an obstruction. If Plaintiff could support its claim of negligent design and prior injuries at this location, it was a question of fact for the jury to decide whether D-C was negligent on that basis.