Transposed number in location address on notice results in dismissal of injury claim
Vanessa Montford suffered a serious injury when she tripped on a section of sidewalk in the City of Detroit. Her attorney complied with the 120-day notice requirement, sending the City's Legal Department a formal notice of claim, along with several photographs of the crumbling and broken sidewalk. Unfortunately, he identified the location as 14741 Kentfield Street, rather than 14174 Kentfield. The City determined that no such address exists, however, it did not notify Montford or her attorneys of the error or attempt to locate the proper address.The City denied the claim and asked the trial judge to dismiss it based upon the victim's failure to file a proper notice of claim in a timely manner. The trial judge refused, but the Court of Appeals obliged and reversed the lower court judge.
On a day when Judge Henry Saad ruled against injury victims in three out of three cases, the Court held that Montford's case should be dismissed for failing to provide proper statutory notice. Saad and his companion judges ruled that "substantial compliance" with the notice provision is inadequate and that the City owed no duty to investigate the claim or inform Montford of the location error.