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Fall in mall parking lot caused by 7" wide asphalt depression 3-4" deep is not compensable

Mary Malec fell and injured herself after stepping in to a seven foot long "depression" in the Livonia Mall parking lot.  Malec testified that she saw the pavement defect but mistakenly believed it was simply a gray discoloration.  Her son provided similar testimony, as did a human factors engineer.  Nevertheless, the court held that the defect was "open and obvious" and thus the Mall owed no duty to correct it.  The court concluded that it didn't matter if the defect looked hazardous:  if it was visible--even if it looked safe--there was no basis to hold the owner responsible for repairs.   Heaven forbid that a mall should owe a reasonable duty to maintain its parking lot.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
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