"Tort reform:" City owes no duty to remove fallen tree from road; not responsible for injuries
Carmen Mendez-Velez was hurt when the car in which she was riding struck a downed tree on Otis Street in Detroit. She filed a lawsuit arguing that the City did not act within a reasonable time to remove the fallen tree, and therefore violated its statutory "duty to maintain the roadway in a condition reasonable repair so that it is reasonably safe for public travel."
News for her: by "tort reform" standards, a fallen tree that lies in the traveled portion of the road doesn't make the road reasonably unsafe: it is not a "defect in the road bed" and Republican majority Justices of Michigan's Supreme Court have limited the responsibility of governmental and highway authorities to the actual road surface: they are no longer responsible for maintaining signage, for design, for maintaining bridges or other structures. Or for removing loose gravel, ice and snow, or fallen trees within a reasonable length of time.