Estate's case against snow plow driver is dismissed; proof of negligence but not gross negligence
The family of Phillip E. Wade sued the City of Detroit and a City snow plow driver who alledgedly changed lanes into Wade's vehicle and drove him off the road. Wade did not survive to the trial date and the City filed a motion to dismiss arguing that the Plaintiffs could no longer produce evidence of "fault." The family presented the police report, depictions of the vehicle damage, the testimony of the plow driver and also the testimony of a witness who allegedly overheard the plow driver make admissions of fault at the scene.
The Court concluded that while taken together these items of evidence could be interpreted by jurors as evidence of negligence, they could not reach the threshold of "gross negligence." Therefore, the action was dismissed, since governmental actors are immune from claims of ordinary negligence under Michigan law.