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Fall victim cannot sue City of Flint because his notice does not provide precise location

John Halford was injured when the sidewalk collapsed under him.  He sent a notice to the City within six weeks, documenting his injury and identifying the location as "a sidewalk along White Street near the intersection of Martin Luther King Boulevard..." The trial judge and the Court of Appeals held that this description of the area where the sidewalk collapsed was--by Supreme Court interpretation--inadequate to provide the City reasonable identification of the defect.  We wonder just how many areas of sidewalk in that block had collapsed that month. 

Halford's attorneys also argued that clearly the City had suffered no prejudice from any purported ambiguity in the location and that he should be allowed to amend the notice to render his description more precise.  The appellate judges noted that the Supreme Court of Michigan (the so-called "Engler Majority" of insurance-oriented judges) had rejected these arguments and no longer requires the municipality to show that it was prejudiced by an "imprecise" notice.

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