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Owner of grocery store owes no duty to clear ice from parking lot; fall goes uncompensated

Francisco Garces fell while crossing the parking lot of La Providencia, LLC, in Ottawa County.  Mr. Garces fell on ice that he did not observe prior to the fall.  When the grocer's insurer denied compensation for Garces' injuries, he filed a lawsuit.  The grocer's insurer then argued that the ice was an "open and obvious" danger, meaning that under Michigan law the grocer owed no duty to exercise reasonable care to make it safe. 

The trial court dismissed Garces' case and on appeal the higher court reluctantly agreed with this outcome.  The higher court judges noted that under Republican majority-precedent, the retailer owed no duty to exercise reasonable care to make its premises reasonably safe for patrons; and the icy lot was not "effectively unavoidable" unless the patron was essentially trapped inside the facility with only one, hazardous, exit.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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