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More immunity for contractors

A doctor and his wife moved into a new home and retained a painter to re-paint the interior.  The painter he hired did an incompetent job, leaving paint spots on the wooden floor and severe scratches on the window panes where paint was removed.  He sued the contractor for negligence, but the Court tossed his claim.

The judicial activists of the Engler-era created tort immunity for contractors by holding that a contractor cannot be sued for negligently performing a contractual duty.  Under the Fultz v. Union-Commerce Assoc. decision, the "Engler majority" held that assuming a contractual duty to act relieved the contractor of his otherwise-existing duty of reasonable care, rendering the contractor immune from negligence claims by the other parties to the contract or third-parties.  In this case, Mehta v. Limbright, the result was a lack of insurance coverage to pay for the contractor's admitted "incompetence or sloppiness".  In many other cases, the doctrine has meant that a severely disabled injury victim has been denied recourse against the insurer of the wrongdoer who caused the injury.

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