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Man who suffers multiple leg fractures cannot sue after step from concrete slab

Terry Green and his brother were walking on the premises of Tryko Holdings, LLC, which does business as Brookstone Valley Apartments.  Green stepped off a concrete slab, encountering a mud-covered slope.  The step was much greater than Green anticipated, and he claimed that the combination of a 16 inch step, the slope and the mud, together caused him to fall.  He sued, claiming that the condition of the step off the concrete slab was a safety hazard.

The Court dismissed Green's claim.  It held that the condition where Green fell was an "open and obvious" danger which he should have perceived on casual inspection,  and therefore, which the owner owed no duty to correct. 

Despite architectural evidence that uneven stairs are a significant safety risk and fall hazard, the court repeated the language from prior holdings suggesting that "[B]ecause steps are the type of everyday occurrence that people encounter, under most circumstances, a reasonably prudent person will look where he is going, will observe the steps, and will take appropriate care for his own safety."  The Court also based its decision on Green's testimony that while he inspected the step off the concrete slab from a distance, he did not re-examine it immediately before stepping off the slab.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
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