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Governmental Immunity and a Duty to Maintain the Highway in Reasonable Repair

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2014 | Firm News

In a recent Michigan Court of Appeals decision, Zezula v. City of Lincoln Park, the court ruled that there was sufficient evidence to create a factual dispute as to whether a street was maintained in reasonable repair and that the City had notice of the defect.

Motion to Dismiss Filed and Defeated

The City attempted to claim governmental immunity and the Plaintiff was able to overcome a motion for summary disposition. If the motion had been granted, the case would have been dismissed by the court and would not have gone to trial. In this case, a spike was protruding from the ground caused the Plaintiff to fall and an injury was sustained. The court ruled that there was evidence to show that the City was put on notice of the spike and that they did not keep the road in reasonable repair.

What this means for you:

Any time an injury is sustained that involves a municipality, they will claim governmental immunity and will try and have the case dismissed before it can even go to trial. If the court denies the motion to dismiss and orders the case to go to trial, your leverage has been increased substantially to try and negotiate a fair settlement that compensates you for your injuries. The key to the Plaintiff winning this motion hearing was the evidence that she had gathered in photos and testimony regarding the placement and existence of the spike protruding through the street. This is a good reminder that your personal injury attorney needs to investigate your case fully and be prepared to handle early motions trying to dismiss your case. Some of these motions can be filed immediately after being served with the lawsuit. There is no time to wait when it comes to proper preparation of your injury claim.The lawyers at Murphy Reed have many years of experience dealing with governmental immunity issues and know how to handle your injury case from start to finish. Call them today at 269-242-2332 for a free governmental immunity consultation.