MIKE GUSS AND JOE BAES WIN SUMMARY DISPOSITION IN WRONGFUL DEATH PREMISES CASE
Copeland v 5377 and 5391 Corunna Road, Genesee Circuit Court No. 20-114058-NO. This case was brought on behalf of an 84-year-old decedent resulting from a trip and fall on a staircase at a medical office building. The elderly plaintiff, assisted by his son-in-law went to his primary care physician with regard to heart failure issues. While ascending some stairs toward an entry to the office he fell over to his left side with a broken staircase railing remaining in his right hand.
He had complaints of left shoulder pain only and the family physician did not advise any further referrals or consultations. The plaintiff appeared again over 2 weeks later again, only presenting with left shoulder complaints.
Thereafter, two weeks later an ambulance was called to plaintiff’s home where he had fallen and upon hospitalization it was discerned that there was an L-4 compression fracture. It was plaintiff’s allegation that this compression fracture was caused by the fall at the physician’s office a month earlier. The plaintiff alleged that the original fall constituted a “seminal event” leading to the plaintiff’s ultimate death from various comorbidities 7 ½ months after the plaintiff’s fall.
Sued was our defendant landlord and the co-defendant tenant medical facility for wrongful death. We filed a motion for summary disposition based on lack of possession and control and the plaintiff’s failure to prove notice and causation. Co-defendant filed a motion for summary disposition asserting possession and control upon the landlord. The Court granted summary disposition in favor of our landlord defendant finding that the co-defendant medical facility had exclusive possession and control of the premises. The case continues against co-defendant.