Michael F. Schmidt Obtains Affirmance On Appeal To The Michigan Court Of Appeals Of Summary Disposition Granted In Auto/Pedestrian Accident
Janet Thurman v Pies, Inc. d/b/a Domino’s Pizza, Michigan Court of Appeals docket number 334821 (2017), claim by plaintiff, Janet Thurman, for alleged multiple serious injuries resulting from a motor vehicle/pedestrian accident in which she was struck by a Pies, Inc. pizza delivery driver’s vehicle while standing in the middle of and attempting to cross Ann Arbor/Saline Road. Following discovery which included depositions of multiple investigating officers from the Ann Arbor Police Department, the parties and the plaintiff’s liability expert, Frederick Grieve, we filed a motion for summary disposition on the basis that the plaintiff had no proof of any negligence on the part of the defendant pizza driver and that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by MCL 500.3135 because the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault in causing the accident. The trial court granted summary disposition after oral argument finding that the plaintiff’s theories that the defendant was speeding, that he entered the left turn lane too soon, that the plaintiff was plainly visible and that the brakes on the defendant’s vehicle were improperly maintained were not supported by the evidence and were all based on speculation and conjecture, and that the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault in causing the accident. Following oral argument in the Court of Appeals, the Court of Appeals has issued an opinion affirming summary disposition on the basis that there was no support in the record that defendant Cleaveland was speeding or swerved into the turn lane or that he had notice or information that there was any problem with his brakes or that any brake problem had any affect on the accident or that there was any evidence that Cleaveland’s headlights should have illuminated the plaintiff. The Court of Appeals concluded that there was absolutely no evidence that Cleaveland was negligent at all and thus affirmed summary disposition.