Man cannot sue DNR or DEQ after dam fails because he didn't give proper notice within six months
John Falk attempted to sue the DNR and the DEQ after their negligent management of a dam on Peterson Pond resulted in flooding to Falk's downstream property. Unfortunately, Falk did not file the required notice of intent to sue with the Court of Claims within six months of the incident. Although the agencies were not prejudiced by the failure of notice (they were well informed of the dam failure), Falk was precluded from taking legal action because the Republcian majority of Michigan's Supreme Court has ruled that "substantial compliance" with the notice requirement is not sufficient and no prejudice need be suffered by the failure of notice. If notice is not given or if it omits one of the required statutory elements, the potential claim must be permanently dismissed, regardless of its merit.