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Radio station invites winner to pick up prize during construction; owes no duty to repair worn out carpet on stairs

Terri Church won a prize offered by a Lansing radio station (the Citadel Broadcasting Company).  She was told to come to the station to pick it up; on arrival she found construction at the front entrance and sign directing her to the rear entrance.  On her way up the torn, worn, duct-tape repaired steps, she fell and suffered injury.  When the radio station refused to help with her expenses, she sued. She argued that the condition was an unsafe hazard and that it was negligent of the station to direct public invitees like her to use the unsafe stairs with their badly worn and torn carpet.

The Court rejected her arguments.  Relying on the analysis of the current Republican majority of the Michigan Supreme Court, the appellate judges ruled that since the worn and torn carpeting was "visible on casual inspection," it was an "open and obvious danger" which RELIEVED the owner of any duty to correct the condition before inviting the public in.   Based on a similar analysis, the judges held that the law doesn't hold the station accountable for negligence in inviting Church to come to the station during construction to pick up her prize, because her injury related to an "open and obvious" danger on the premises.

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