Premises liability is one of the most pursued cases in the United States. In the State of Michigan, it fights with general negligence. When do you sue for premises liability and when do you sue for general negligence? Can your lawyer sue for both? Read on to find out more about the concepts and what you need to learn from them.
Difference Between Premises Liability and General Negligence
In the State of Michigan, premises liability arises from the conditions of the premises under the control of the defendant. On the other hand, general negligence stems from the conduct of the defendant.
As we have discussed in some of the previous articles, premises liability is the liability of the possessor of the property who has control of the use and safety condition of the said property. On the other hand, lawyers sue for general negligence when there is negligence that arises from the conduct of the defendant.
It is not, however, always that obvious especially when the client is injured and the lawyer would want all of his or her bases covered.
Let us look at this simple scenario here: a grocery shopper slipped and fell into a puddle of clear fruit juice. The juice was spilled in a grocery aisle. There was indeed an injury but it is a simple slip and fall case or is it necessary to look at whether the individuals who should have done their jobs and kept the floor clean are liable for general negligence as well. It is not always clear-cut.
What would your lawyer do?
There have been many approaches that lawyers are known to take. For some lawyers, the trick is to plead multiple counts and see which one sticks. A premises liability claim that focuses on the alleged dangerous condition of the land is different from that which claims that there is negligence on the part of the possessor who has control over the property.
However, the fact is that the lawyer would only need to make a comprehensive complaint-affidavit where the lawyer is required to allege all of the claims of the plaintiff. The Michigan Court ruled on the matter in the case of Anbari v Union Square Development, Incorporated. In this case, the court ruled the following:
Plaintiff’s injury resulted from a condition of the land and the plaintiff is suing the landowner. That this condition arose out of Woudenberg’s actions is not dispositive; indeed, many conditions of land arise out of a person’s actions. The plaintiff may not avoid the law of premises liability by characterizing this case as one involving ordinary negligence when he was injured by a condition of the land and is alleging a breach of reasonable care on the part of the landowner.
Of course, the circumstances of the case are controlling what would happen and how the court would decide in favor of or against the plaintiff. In the succeeding parts of this article series, we will look at the important aspects of a case that affects the outcome of the court’s decision, among others.
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The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.
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