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"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.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262