SUSAN BLACKWELL v DEAN FRANCHI DEBRA FRANCHI (2017)
Court of Appeals of Michigan.
SUSAN BLACKWELL, Plaintiff-Appellant, v DEAN FRANCHI and DEBRA FRANCHI, Defendant-Appellee.
Decided: January 31, 2017
Before: K. F. KELLY, P.J., and GLEICHER and SHAPIRO, JJ.
K. F. KELLY (dissenting).
I respectfully dissent. The relevant inquiry is not whether the step was open and obvious, but whether the dark room was open and obvious.
I agree with the majority that plaintiff was a licensee for whom defendants had an obligation to warn of hidden dangers. At the heart of this matter is what constituted the “danger” to plaintiff – the unexceptional 8-inch step or the dark room? At oral argument, plaintiff's attorney conceded that there was absolutely nothing remarkable about the step. Counsel specifically acknowledged that it was a normal 8-inch step that, had the room been properly lit, would have been open and obvious. Plaintiff claims that the step was a danger because it was “unknown.” However, it was unknown because plaintiff purposefully entered a dark room to confront unidentified dangers. The danger was not the stairs, but the dark room itself, which could have contained a variety of other unspecified and common-place “dangers,” such as laundry baskets or toys. The fact that the room was not lit was open and obvious. Plaintiff should have realized the danger entering a dark and unknown room posed. I would affirm summary disposition in defendants' favor.
Kirsten Frank Kelly
Was this helpful?
Response sent, thank you
Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes
A free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.