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Michael J. Guss Obtains Summary Disposition In Wrongful Death Claim Against Construction Company

Malinda Hayden, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Nathan Hayden v Soil and Materials Engineers, Inc., et. al., Huron County Circuit Court. Mr. Hayden was fatally injured at work when he was struck by an errant vehicle while providing traffic control (“flagging”) on a 55—mph roadway in Bad Axe, MI. Following the accident, the estate filed suit, alleging that SME’s conduct falls within the so-called “intentional tort exception” to the exclusive remedy provision of the Michigan Worker’s Disability Compensation Act. After discovery, we filed a motion for summary disposition arguing that plaintiff had failed to present proofs establishing that the decedent’s employer had actual knowledge that an injury was certain to occur and thus, could not avoid application of exclusive remedy defense. After reviewing the briefs and hearing oral argument, the court agreed with our position, granting summary disposition and dismissing all claims made by plaintiff against our client.