Court Dismisses Michigan Pizza Delivery Man’s Lawsuit over Icy Fall

November 6, 2017

Cheese and pepperoni — but hold the lawsuit.

That’s the message from the Michigan appeals court, which has reversed a decision and dismissed a lawsuit by a Domino’s Pizza delivery man. Robert Garsoff fractured an ankle in three places and needed surgery after slipping on ice at a home in West Bloomfield in 2014.

Garsoff says there were three cars in the dark driveway when he arrived with a pizza. He says the owner was negligent by failing to salt the driveway or turn on exterior lights.

Garsoff sued the homeowners and the trial court on April 7, 2016, issued an opinion denying the homeowners’ motion for summary disposition. The defendants appealed.

It’s very difficult to win a slip-and-fall lawsuit in Michigan. The appeals court noted that the hazard should have been “open and obvious” to Garsoff, especially on a winter night.

“In this case … the ice that plaintiff slipped on was an open-and obvious hazard,” the appeals court opinion states.

The appeals court also noted: “In Michigan, our Supreme Court has essentially made it the policy of this state to preclude individuals from recovering for injuries caused when they slip and fall on ice and snow in all but the most unique cases. …”

As “ice is considered a common occurrence in Michigan” the appeals court wrote, it “is not considered a uniquely dangerous hazard and it does not fall within the special aspect exception to the open-and-obvious doctrine.”