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Woman injured in sidewalk fall did not give adequate notice of hazard

Lyn Bykonen injured her ankle when she fell while attempting to protect her son from a school bus backing up.  On her behalf, someone (not identified in the opinion) promptly sent a written complaint to the Village of Akron complaining about the hazardous condition of the sidewalk "from Beach to Lynn Street, between the church and Weihl's house on School Street."  The sidewalk in this area was characterized as a "hazard" in the written complaint, but the nature of the hazard was not identified.  Bykonen filed a lawsuit and relied upon the written complaint as her notice of injury.  It had been served on the Village within the proper time period.

The Court of Appeals overturned the trial judge's decision and dismissed Bykonen's injury claim. The Court of Appeals panel, including Henry Saad, the insurer's best friend, held that Bykonen's notice did not comply with the statutory requirement to describe the "nature of the defect" that caused the injury--whether or not the Village suffered prejudice as a result of the imprecise notice.
Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262