Walkway between Jefferson Avenue and the Detroit River is not a "highway" but may be a "trailway"
Charles Williams was hurt when he stumbled on a pothole and fell while walking along a paved walkway in the City of Detroit. He filed a legal action, alleging that the walkway/sidewalk was defectively maintained, and not reasonably safe for public travel. He argued that the City should owe him compensation. The Court of Appeals concluded that since the walkway was not adjacent to a "highway," it did not fall within the statutory definition that would consitute an exception to the City's governmental immunity. Even if the City or its agents were negligent, in other words, it would not be responsible for injuries suffered by pedestrians.
On the other hand, the Court noted that the Legislature has also excepted "trailways" from governmental immunity, and this walkway appears to fit within that statutory definition. On that basis, the case was reinstated and returned to the lower court for further proceedings.