Slip & fall cases tough to make in Mich. courts - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Slip & fall cases tough to make in Mich. courts

By ED WHITE
Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) - Slip & fall lawsuits once were a staple for injury attorneys. But they've become extremely tough in Michigan courts, due to a strict standard set by the state Supreme Court.

The court's conservative majority raised the bar last summer in a case involving an Upper Peninsula woman who fell outside a health club in Ironwood. The court said Charlotte Hoffner was aware of the ice and wasn't forced to enter the club. Four justices said property owners can't be expected to absolutely ensure everyone's safety.

As a result, courts across Michigan have more reasons to dismiss slip & fall lawsuits. Detroit-area lawyer Mark Bernstein says he's been forced to turn away clients. He says slip & fall cases tied to weather represent just 2% of his firm's work, compared to 20% in the 1990s.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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