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Woman struck by bus after Red Wing Stanley Cup win cannot sue

Stephanie Schiepke was struck by a Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) bus as she stepped off the curb on Gratiot Avenue.  SMART was notified and representatives came to the scene to investigate that night.  Schiepke did not immediately hire an attorney, and she did not file a formal Notice of Claim until five months later. 

The immunity law requires that a formal notice be served on the governmental owner of a common carrier within 60 days of the injury. On this basis, the Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of Schiepke's claim, despite the fact that SMART acknowledged knowing of the incident immediately and investigating it on the night it occurred.  The Court noted that under Supreme Court precedent decided by the so-called "Engler Majority" it doesn't matter whether the governmental entity suffered prejudice as a result of a late or defective notice:  a defect in the notice, even with substantial compliance and no prejudice, must result in dismissal of the victim's claim.
Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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