Moloughney and Smith Obtain Summary Disposition for Insured Client in Wayne County Circuit Court


Attorneys Kevin Moloughney and Kyle Smith obtained summary disposition for their insured client in the Wayne County Circuit Court. Plaintiff contended that the client negligently hired a contractor to perform excavation around the client’s home. The excavator became trapped in a collapsed ditch and plaintiff, a Grosse Pointe Shores Department of Public Safety officer, responded to the scene. In pulling the excavator out of the ditch, plaintiff sustained serious injuries to his shoulders. In applying the Firefighter’s rule, Kevin and Kyle successfully argued that (1) there was no basis for a finding of gross negligence; (2) digging a trench is not an inherently dangerous activity; (3) Michigan does not recognize a cause of action for negligent hiring of a contractor; and (4) the insured did not retain control of the underlying project. The Court found that there was no basis under Michigan law by which plaintiff could avoid the Firefighter’s Rule and that plaintiff could not establish that his claims fit any of the exceptions to this bar against liability.

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