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Trucker can sue for lumber yard employees' negligence

Wilmer Floyd fell 13 feet from the top of a flatbed load of lumber as he was attempting to cover it with a tarp that weighed 150 pounds.  Floyd had been sent to the Insulspan, Inc., lumberyard to pick up the lumber and was attempting to cover it prior to transport.  Despite instructions to the contrary, the Insulspan employees allegedly had left the lumber stacked out in a snowstorm and loaded it on Floyd's flatbed without removing several inches of snow fromt the materials.  Floyd claimed that he slipped on the snow and fell while adjusting the tarp, and sued Insulspan for negligence in failing to cover the lumber or remove the snow prior to loading.  The lower court dismissed Floyd's claim, applying the "open and obvious" exclusion to premises liability to obviate any duty by Insulspan.  The Appellate Court reversed, pointing out that the claim was one for negligence unrelated to Insulspan's  possession of the property and not alleging a hazard on the property.

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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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