Woman's claim against cleaning service is reinstated for discovery
Patricia Billiau was badly hurt when she fell while fulfilling security measures during the opening of her employer bank's branch. Billiau fell after stepping from a wet carpet to a newly-waxed wood floor: she claimed that the fall was caused by a combination of the new wax job and her wet shoes from the drying carpet. She argued that if the overnight cleaning had been performed properly, the carpet would have been dry, and that she should have been provided with some form of warning of the conditions.
The trial judge dismissed Billiau's claim, holding that the cleaning services, Suburban Copntractor Cleaning, Inc., and Grand Rapids Building Services, Inc., owed Billiau and other employees no duty. After the decision in Loweke v. Ann Arbor, the Court of Appeals returned the case to the lower court to examine whether the cleaning service violated a common law duty to complete the cleaning tasks in a reasonable manner or to warn of the potentially dangerous condition existing prior to complete drying.