Woman is injured in hospital revolving door; claim is dismissed despite electronic filing issue
Bettye Thigpen was injured in a hospital revolving door installed by Besam Entrance Solutions in Oakland County. She sued alleging the company negligently installed or maintained the door. Besam filed a motion for summary disposition, arguing that it could not be responsible on a premises liability theory because it was not in possession of the building, and that Thigpen's allegations of negligence were not propertly supported. The motion was apparently received via e-mail by Thigpen's lawyer's assistant, but not by the lawyer.
The Court ruled that Thigpen's response to the motion was inadequate and granted summary disposition. Thigpen appealed, arguing that service of the motion was inadequate and that the court abused its discretion, under the circumstances, in summarily dismissing Thigpen's claim. The Court of Appeals sustained the trial judge's ruling, finding no abuse of discretion. It pointed out that Oakland County had adopted a mandatory e-filing system, that the attorney had listed his legal assistant's e-mail address, that someone had opened the motion e-mailed to the legal assistant's address, and therefore it didn't matter if the lawyer received the e-mail.
The Court also held that since Thigpen didn't demonstrate on appeal that she had evidence to establish fault by Besam, she had not invoked the court's authority to grant her relief on that score.