Government does not have immunity for damage caused in violation of contractual obligations: "tort" immunity does not apply to contractual obligation
In the Mackinac County action brought by Robert and Linda Metcalf against the Mackinac County Road Commission, the Court of Appeals reversed the local judge's grant of immunity to the Road Commission and reinstated the case. The Metcalfs argued that the Road Commission had abused its rights under a "Gravel Borrow Agreement," causing unreasonable harm to their land. They sought an order of the court requiring the Road Commission to restore their land to its prior condition.
The Road Commission argued that it was immune from the Metcalf's claim because it sounded in negligence or nuisance. The higher court studied and rejected this claim, pointing out that "governmental immunity" under statute is applicable to tort claims and is not applicable to duties undertaken through a private contract. It also rejected the Road Commission's claim that either the Statute of Frauds or the Parol Evidence Rule should bar the Metcalf's from enforcing what they claimed were understandings and agreements that were not mentioned in the language of the original "Agreement."