Collins Einhorn Attorneys Obtain Reversal and Summary Disposition from Michigan Court of Appeals in Multi-million Dollar Premises-liability Case


Collins Einhorn attorneys Kenneth C. Merritt, Kari L. Melkonian, and Jonathan B. Koch successfully defended a multi-million dollar premises-liability case. The defendant was an auction-services company hired to conduct an estate sale at a private residence. After the estate sale concluded, the plaintiff was injured when she fell down a three-foot drop-off created by a missing set of stairs after she stepped through a set of exterior doors in the house’s dining room. Based on that incident, plaintiff filed this premises-liability suit against the auction company, claiming several million dollars in damages.

After the trial court denied defendant’s motion for summary disposition, Collins Einhorn attorneys obtained a rare grant of leave to appeal from the Court of Appeals. After full briefing and oral argument, the Court of Appeals reversed. The panel held that the trial court should have granted summary disposition because the defendant lacked possession and control over the property and because the hazard was open-and-obvious. The Supreme Court denied plaintiff’s application for leave to appeal.

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