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November 01, 2008
There are six statutory exceptions to the broad grant of governmental immunity in Michigan. This is the first in a series of articles that will provide a summary of each exception. We start with the highway exception – one of the most used and most litigated exceptions. Remember that the exceptions to immunity are very narrowly construed – therefore attention to each word in the statute is imperative. As always, if you have any questions or need some assistance on this or any governmental issue, please feel free to contact one of our nine offices.
MCLA 691.1402 provides in part:
(1) Except as otherwise provided in section 2a, each governmental agency having jurisdiction over a highway shall maintain the highway in reasonable repair so that it is reasonably safe and convenient for public travel. A person who sustains bodily injury or damage to his or her property by reason of failure of a governmental agency to keep a highway under its jurisdiction in reasonable repair and in a condition reasonably safe and fit for travel may recover the damages suffered by him or her from the governmental agency.
MCLA 691.1402a governs the municipalities’ duty to repair or maintain county highways and provides, in part:
Sec. 2a. (1) Except as otherwise provided by this section, a municipal corporation has no duty to repair or maintain, and is not liable for injuries arising from, a portion of a county highway outside of the improved portion of the highway designed for vehicular travel, including a sidewalk, trailway, crosswalk, or other installation. This subsection does not prevent or limit a municipal corporation’s liability if both of the following are true:
(a) At least 30 days before the occurrence of the relevant injury, death, or damage, the municipal corporation knew or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known of the existence of a defect in a sidewalk, trailway, crosswalk, or other installation outside of the improved portion of the highway designed for vehicular travel.
(b) The defect described in subdivision (a) is a proximate cause of the injury, death, or damage.
(2) A discontinuity defect of less than 2 inches creates a rebuttable inference that the municipal corporation maintained the sidewalk, trailway, crosswalk, or other installation outside of the improved portion of the highway designed for vehicular travel in reasonable repair.
MCLA 691.1403 discusses presumptions of notice of alleged defects and provides in part:
No governmental agency is liable for injuries or damages caused by defective highways unless the governmental agency knew, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known, of the existence of the defect and had a reasonable time to repair the defect before the injury took place.
Knowledge of the defect and time to repair the sameshall be conclusively presumed when the defect existed so as to be readily apparent to an ordinarily observant person for a period of 30 days or longer before the injury took place.
MCLA 691.1404 mandates that a claimant give notice of the incident and provides in part:
(1) As a condition to any recovery for injuries sustained by reason of any defective highway, the injured person, within 120 days from the time the injury occurred, except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) shall serve a notice on the governmental agency of the occurrence of the injury and the defect. The notice shall specify the exact location and nature of the defect, the injury sustained and the names of the witnesses known at the time by the claimant.
Employment contracts for an indefinite duration are presumptively terminable at the will of either party for any reason or no reason at all. Under certain circumstances, “At-Will” Employment may be converted to “For Cause” Employment. One such circumstance is where the employee is a Veteran. The following is a brief summary of the requirements before a Veteran can be terminated. If you find yourself in a situation where you must terminate a Veteran, please refer to the Act and consult with your local counsel. For more information, or if you need any assistance, please feel free to contact any of our nine offices.
Michigan Veterans Preference Act, MCLA § 35.402