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Co-Owner of a Condominium Has No Premises Liability Claim

Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2018

In a short published opinion, Francescutti v Fox Chase Condominium Association, Docket No. 323111, issued October 15, 2015, the Court of Appeals clarified an issue of first impression: whether a co-owner of a condominium unit has a claim sounding in premises liability against the condominium association and management company. The Court of Appeals held that the plaintiff co-owner did not have a premises liability claim arising out of his slip-and-fall case, when he fell on ice and snow covered sidewalk. A co-owner is classified neither as a licensee nor a invitee because both of these definitions require that the claimant be on "the land of another." A co-owner of a condominium is a tenant in common over the common areas of the development and is, therefore, not on the land of another. The defendants, the condominium association and the management company, therefore owed no duty to the co-owner under premises liability. The Court of Appeals also held that the defendants could not be classified as "lessors" with a statutory duty to maintain the property in reasonable repair under MCL 554.139. The Court of Appeals concluded that any claim arising out of the plaintiff's slip-and-fall accident would have to sound in ordinary negligence or breach of contract.

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