Kenneth C. Merritt

03/01/2020
Kenneth C. Merritt
Attorney

Kenneth C. Merritt

Attorney

Kenneth C. Merritt

Summary

For nearly 40 years, Ken has maintained an active general liability defense practice that has included catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death actions, indemnity disputes and construction site accidents. Over the years, Ken has successfully tried numerous cases involving product liability, construction defect claims, premises liability, automobile liability, first-party personal injury protection benefits, professional liability defense, errors and omissions of insurance agents, dram shop and workers’ compensation cases. Ken also serves as a private and court-endorsed mediator and arbitrator in Wayne and Oakland counties. Prior to practicing law, Ken handled casualty claims for Aetna Casualty and Surety Company for eight years.

Practice Areas
General and Automotive Liability
Product Liability
Premises Liability
Construction Defect Claims
First Party No-Fault

Credentials

Education
  • University of Detroit (J.D. 1978)
  • Michigan State University (B.A. 1970)
Admissions
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • State Bar of Florida
Professional Activities
  • Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Oakland County Bar Association
Accomplishments
  • DBusiness® Top Lawyer (2010)
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent Rated
    (5.0 out of 5.0)
Prominent Outcomes

Successfully defended an auction company in a multi-million dollar premises liability case. The plaintiff was attending an auction when she fell down a three-foot-drop-off created by a missing set of stairs. The auction company moved for summary disposition which was denied by the trial court. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the trial court should have granted summary disposition because the defendant lacked possession and control over the property and the hazard was open and obvious. The Supreme Court denied plaintiff’s application for leave to appeal. (April 2018)

Won summary disposition in Michigan’s Third Circuit Court in a premises liability and public/private nuisance case on the grounds of an open and obvious hazard and failure to state a claim. Plaintiff failed to sufficiently refute Defendant’s evidence that the liquid she slipped on was open and obvious, and she failed to properly plead the elements of either a public or private nuisance. (Initially denied by trial court; peremptorily reversed on all counts by the Michigan Court of Appeals.) (February 2017)

Won summary disposition in Michigan’s Third Circuit Court for a premises liability and vicarious liability case on the grounds of lack of evidence of notice or retained control.  Plaintiff failed to sufficiently prove that premises owner had notice of a risk of imminent and foreseeable harm to its invitees or that it retained control over independently hired security guards.  (November 2016)

Freeman v IMI Cornelius Inc and Target Corp – Represented both Defendants, IMI Cornelius on a Product Liability claim (defective design of ice-maker) and Target on a Premises Liability basis (part from ice-maker fell and struck Plaintiff). Jury decided neither Defendant was negligent resulting in a No Cause verdict. (2015)

Attorneys Merritt and Schaedig Obtain Summary Disposition in Home-inspector Negligence and Third-party Beneficiary Case

Attorneys Kenneth C. Merritt and Christopher R. Schaedig obtained summary disposition in Michigan’s Sixteenth Circuit Court in a home-inspector negligence and third-party beneficiary case on the grounds of no genuine issue of material fact regarding any of Third-Party Plaintiffs’ claims. Third-Party Plaintiffs failed to sufficiently prove that the home inspector was negligent, that they were third-party beneficiaries to the home-inspection agreement, or that they were entitled to indemnity from the home inspector.

Attorneys Merritt, Schaedig, and Koch Obtain Peremptory Reversal and Summary Disposition from Michigan Court of Appeals in Premises Liability Action Case

Won summary disposition in Michigan’s Third Circuit Court in a premises liability and public/private nuisance case on the grounds of an open and obvious hazard and failure to state a claim. Plaintiff failed to sufficiently refute Defendant’s evidence that the liquid she slipped on was open and obvious, and she failed to properly plead the elements of either a public or private nuisance. (Initially denied by trial court; peremptorily reversed on all counts by the Michigan Court of Appeals. Docket No. 335710.) Click on headline for full case details.

Attorneys Merritt and Schaedig Obtain Summary Disposition in Premises Liability Case

Attorneys Kenneth C. Merritt and Christopher R. Schaedig won summary disposition in Michigan’s Third Circuit Court for a premises liability and vicarious liability case on the grounds of lack of evidence of notice or retained control. Plaintiff failed to sufficiently prove that premises owner had notice of a risk of imminent and foreseeable harm to its invitees or that it retained control over independently hired security guards.

CEFU Attorney Kenneth Merritt Obtains Summary Disposition in Subrogation Case

Plaintiff Subrogee of a commercial insured filed suit against a manufacturer of a product that cleans circuit boards claiming Breach of Warranty and Negligent Design and Manufacture resulting in a fire causing over $2 Mil in property damages. Our client produced evidence that the insured owned the product since at least 2005. The fire occurred…

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