Supreme Court dismisses injury claim arising out of fall at car wash
By a 4-3 majority, the Michigan Supreme Court overturned a decision of the Court of Appeals and dismissed Paul Kachudas' injury claim against the Invaders Self Auto Wash in Genesee County. Kachudas suffered injury when he fell on ice that collected where water had been sprayed. The Court of Appeals had held that his claim could be pursued under an ordinary negligence theory, based on the malfeasance or neglect of the car wash attendant.
The Supreme Court majority ruled that since the injury arose out of a condition on the land, the claim could only be pursued as a premises liability action subject to the "open and obvious danger" rule. Applying that rule, the Court majority held that the car wash operator owed no duty to address the ice hazard because reasonable minds could not disagree that "a reasonably prudent average user of ordinary intelligence spraying water outdoors in a temperature range of 11 to 24 degrees would anticipate the likelihood of freezing and the resulting danger therefrom."