Jahnke v. Allen

Decision Date16 December 2014
Docket NumberDocket No. 317625.
Citation308 Mich.App. 472,865 N.W.2d 49
CourtCourt of Appeal of Michigan — District of US

308 Mich.App. 472
865 N.W.2d 49


Docket No. 317625.

Court of Appeals of Michigan.

Submitted Dec. 2, 2014, at Grand Rapids.
Decided Dec. 16, 2014, at 9:00 a.m.

865 N.W.2d 50

Bleakley Law Offices, PC, Muskegon (by Berton K. May ), for plaintiff.

Plunkett Cooney (by Jeffrey C. Gerish, Bloomfield Hills and Matthew T. Thompkins) for defendant.

Before: MARKEY, P.J., and SAWYER and OWENS, JJ.



308 Mich.App. 473

Plaintiff appeals the May 24, 2013 order granting defendant's motion for summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(10) in this civil dispute involving plaintiff's fall and subsequent injury while walking arm-in-arm with defendant on defendant's property. We affirm.

Since April of 2009, plaintiff has resided with her fiancé, Randy Bates, in a mobile home adjacent to defendant's home, and defendant has been plaintiff's landlord. Defendant and plaintiff are good friends who socialize regularly. In June or early July of 2010, defendant began a landscaping project at his home with the help of plaintiff, Bates, and plaintiff's son. In early July 2010, plaintiff and defendant socialized on defendant's porch from where the construction was visible.

On July 17, 2010, plaintiff and defendant were socializing at plaintiff's home. At approximately 11:30 p.m., plaintiff was informed that defendant, who suffers from hydrocephalus, was having a dizzy spell. Plaintiff took defendant by the arm and walked arm-in-arm with him from plaintiff's garage toward defendant's garage.

865 N.W.2d 51

Bates walked behind plaintiff and defendant. As plaintiff and defendant rounded the corner of defendant's garage, plaintiff's right foot slipped off the edge of the concrete pavers, where some had been removed as part of the construction, and she fell. Plaintiff fell onto her right shoulder. Defendant fell on top of plaintiff because she pulled him down with her as she fell. The area

308 Mich.App. 474

where plaintiff fell was not lit by the mercury light on defendant's garage, the motion-detector light above the garage door, or ambient light.

Plaintiff brought an action against defendant alleging negligence. Defendant filed a motion for summary disposition, asserting that plaintiff's claim was barred by the open and obvious danger doctrine because the case sounded in premises liability. The trial court granted defendant's motion. This appeal followed. The primary issue on appeal is whether plaintiff's claim sounds in premises liability or in ordinary negligence.

This Court “review[s] de novo a trial court's ruling on a motion for summary disposition.” Watts v. Mich. Multi–King, Inc., 291 Mich.App. 98, 102, 804 N.W.2d 569 (2010). “In considering a motion pursuant to MCR 2.116(C)(10), a court considers affidavits, pleadings, depositions, admissions, and other documentary evidence submitted by the parties in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party.” Id. “Where the proffered evidence fails to establish a genuine issue of material fact, the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Id. “The trial court cannot grant...

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23 cases
  • Tremonti v. Beaumont Hosp.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • September 23, 2021
    ...... claim against Beaumont "premises. liability/negligence," those are in fact totally. distinct causes of action. See Jahnke v. Allen , 308. Mich.App. 472, 474-476; 865 N.W.2d 49 (2014). Nevertheless,. the title given to a claim by a party is not dispositive. ......
  • Wilson v. BRK, Inc.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • May 30, 2019
    ...danger doctrine by claiming ordinary negligence, when the facts only support a premises liability claim[.]" Jahnke v. Allen , 308 Mich. App. 472, 476, 865 N.W.2d 49 (2014).Plaintiff’s lawsuit ultimately concerns an injury arising from an allegedly dangerous condition on the land, i.e., a st......
  • Halliday v. Great Lakes Ins. SE
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Virgin Islands
    • August 1, 2019
    ...has an obligation to use due care or to act so as not to unreasonably endanger the person or property of another.Jahnke v. Allen, 865 N.W.2d 49, 51 (Mich. App. 2014) (emphasis added) (internal citations omitted). Judicially crafted limitations on liability have also been applied to torts in......
  • Shalda v. Redico, LLC
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • July 29, 2021
    ......704, 710-711; 742 N.W.2d. 399 (2007). This Court is not bound by the labels the parties. attached to their claims. Jahnke v Allen, 308. Mich.App. 472, 475; 865 N.W.2d 49 (2014). . . Shalda. argues that, because her claim is based on the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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