Where deliveryman and shop owner disagree on facts, court denies summary disposition
Gregory Brown fell on ice while making a delivery at Eastman Outdoors, Inc. He knew he had to traverse an icy patch to reach the door, but claimed that he wasn't allowed to make deliveries at any alternate door. The Defendant, Eastman, disputed Brown's proofs, arguing that it would accept deliveries at any door and had not limited Brown's ability to deliver at other doorways. The trial court dismissed Brown's lawsuit, holding that his claim was defeated by the "open and obvious" doctrine. Under that doctrine, a landowner is not liable for eliminating hazardous conditions that are visible "on casual inspection." The Court of Appeals reinstated the case, noting that if Brown's testimony is believed by the jury, he falls within the "special aspects" exception to open and obvious: if a visitor has no option but to traverse the hazard, the landowner is not protected by the open and obvious doctrine.