Supreme Court overturns lower court; rules technical error in notice gives City of Dearborn immunity
Cities are required to maintain some sidewalks in reasonable repair. If they are not in reasonable shape and cause and injury, the City can be sued, but the injury victim must give very precise notice to the City within 120 days of the injury. The genesis of this notice requirement was the belief that the municipality deserved an opportunity to evaluate the injury-causing condition in order to defend the later lawsuit. This principle was put to the test when Mohamed Mawri fell and broke his hip on a Dearborn sidewalk. He provided the proper notice, however, he was off by 15 feet and described the location as contiguous with an adjacent lot: 5034 Middlesex, rather than 5026. The City admittedly had actual notice of the true location and suffered no prejudice by Mawri's notice. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court voted 5-2 to dismiss Mawri's claim, based on the technical defect in his notice of injury.