Take-out customer who fell on ice cannot sue
Ryan Van Wyk ordered takeout food from the Log Cabin Cocktail Lounge in Kent County. When he was leaving the lounge by the back door, he slipped on ice and fell, breaking his ankle. He sued the bar, arguing that it had not taken reasonable steps to protect invitees from a hazardous, icy condition. The lower court dismissed his claim and the Court of Appeals affirmed.The Court noted that a business owner owes no duty to eliminate hazardous conditions that are "open and obvious." Further, the Engler Majority applied this exception to any condition involving ice, if the surrounding conditions would have alerted a Michigan resident to the likely presence of ice. Since there was snow and slush in the parking lot, Van Wyk was deemed to have notice of the potential presence of ice, and the bar owed no duty to address the condition. The Appellate judges also pointed out that Van Wyk did not present any evidence that the front entrance to the bar was unsafe: therefore, he could not claim that the hazardous condition was "unavoidable."