Invitee/customer cannot sue after fall on sidewalk where gutter leak froze
Gary Louks suffered injury at the Wixom Village Commercial mall when he fell on the sidewalk after picking up a pizza. He said the sidewalk appeared to be clear and dry until, after he fell, he noticed a small puddle of black ice where a leaking gutter had frozen. He argued that the leaking gutter was a property defect that the property managers should have discovered and repaired He even presented the evidence of a mall tenant who testified that the leak was present a year earlier.
Despite this testimony, in a confused and conclusory opinion the Court of Appeals ruled that Louks' case should be dismissed as a matter of law. It held that Louks failed to present a factual inference that the owner had actual knowledge of the leak. The opnion completely failed to address the argument that if a tenant became aware of the leak prior to the injury, the property manager "should have" discovered it as well (which is the legal standard governing the liability of a premises' owner when an invitee is injured).