Man cannot sue City after he is struck by falling street light: duty to maintain roads does not include streetlights
Charles Alston was injured when a City of Detroit streetlight fell and struck him. He attempted to sue the City of Detroit for damages, arguing that the City's statutory duty to maintain roads in a "reasonably safe condition" included the duty to maintain street light poles. The Court of Appeals cited decisions of the Republican majority of the Michigan Supreme Court which have limited the roadway owner's duty to the paved, traveled surface. Thus the statutory duty is no longer applied to traffic control signs, signals, shoulders, rights-of-way or obstructions, bridges or even recovery shoulders or road design. The statute does not expressly limit its application to the road surface, and no one argues that a road without essential traffic control signs is "reasonably safe." Nevertheless, the Republican majority has reached this conclusion and denied compensation to injury victims on that basis.