Woman following Enterprise employee through construction trench into office cannot sue for injuries
Linda Ann Compton wanted to rent a car from Enterprise. They picked her up... and dropped her off in front of a construction trench leading to the office. She attempted to follow an employee into the office to sign paperwork, as instructed, but fell suffering injury. She brought an action against the landowner, arguing that the premises wasn't reasonably safe for commercial invitees. She also argued that it was a failure of reasonable care to lead her through the construction trench to reach the office.
The Court of Appeals upheld the trial judge's summary disposition of Ms. Compton's injury claim. It ruled that since the injury resulted from a "condition on the land," she could not pursue a claim for ordinary negligence. Furthermore, since the condition was "open and obvious," and she could have found an alternate route to the office, it didn't matter that she fell in a hazard on the premises: the landowner owed no duty to make the hazardous condition reasonably safe.
We do not make this stuff up. This is Michigan's law and public policy. Landowners owe no duty to eliminate hazards or to provide reasonable guidance to commercial visitors, provided the visitor might notice the hazard.