Woman With Broken Ankle Can Sue Michigan Department of Transportation

December 28, 2012

The Michigan appeals court has ruled in favor of a woman with a broken ankle, saying it’s the state’s responsibility to take care of a parallel parking lane on a popular stretch of M-22 in Suttons Bay.

Helen Yono, a 69-year-old from Livonia, was shopping in Suttons Bay. While returning to her car, she stepped into a depression and broke her ankle.

The lawsuit against the Michigan Transportation Department raises a common legal dispute: When is the state immune to lawsuits about road conditions? In this case, the appeals court says MDOT is responsible. In a 2-1 decision, the court last week said the parking lane is a lane designed for vehicles.

The decision means the lawsuit goes forward. Judge Michael Talbot disagreed with judges Michael Kelly and Jane Beckering.

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