Michigan Supreme Court overturns Appeals Court ruling on definition of "highway."
In Yono v. Department of Transportation, the Court of Appeals had held that a section of M-22 remained a traveled portion of the highway, even though it was painted to allow parallel parking. A woman who fractured her ankle after stepping in a depression in the road surface, while parking, brought action against the highway authority; she argued that the surface of the road had not been reasonably maintained. The Court of Appeals had agreed that as part of the surface of the highway, MDOT owed a duty to maintain the areas avaiable for parallel parking.
This month the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals' decision and sent the case back for further proofs with regard to whether the Department is immune from liability arising out of inadequate maintenance of the highway areas painted for parallel parking. The high court specifically demanded standards for determining what rules should apply to determine whether a section of roadway is "'designed for vehicular travel."