GREGORY LaVOY WINS REVERSAL IN MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS WITH ORDER TO REMAND FOR SUMMARY DISPOSITION OF THE CASE
In Macon v Mr. Pizza Ypsilanti, Inc., unpublished per curiam decision of the Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No. 349780 (2020), our client’s driver was involved in an automobile accident with the plaintiff who was crossing the street as a pedestrian at night on a busy five-lane road. Plaintiff alleged that our client ran a red light and hit her, causing serious injuries. Through investigation of the claim, we discovered another driver on the road who had “dashcam” video that showed some of the circumstances of the accident, including the fact that our client had not ran a red light. At her deposition, Plaintiff was forced to recant her claim, but changed her theory of negligence, asserting a variety of arguments as to how our client may have been negligent by speeding, accelerating through a yellow light, failing to observe pedestrians in the roadway, et cetera. We investigated each new theory, bringing forth positive evidence that our client complied with all duties imposed on him as a Michigan driver, while Plaintiff was in fact at fault for causing the accident by attempting to cross the street contrary to traffic with the legal right of way. The trial court nevertheless rejected our request to dismiss the case, instead preferring to let a jury decide the issue of the relative fault of the parties.
The Michigan Court of Appeals granted our request for an interlocutory appeal and unanimously reversed the trial court’s decision, remanding the case for summary disposition to our client. The Court agreed with our arguments that Plaintiff had failed to create a genuine issue of material fact that our client was negligent in any manner. The Court rejected Plaintiff’s arguments of negligence as speculative, instead crediting the positive evidence that we developed in the lower court as to how the accident occurred. By establishing Plaintiff’s overwhelming negligence for causing the accident and rebutting Plaintiff’s allegations of our client’s own comparative fault, we established a right to summary disposition that the Court of Appeals vindicated on appeal.