- Associated Press - Thursday, January 5, 2017

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - It’s likely to be harder to sue local governments in Michigan over a fall on a defective sidewalk.

Gov. Rick Snyder this week signed a law that gives local governments some extra protection: the so-called open-and-obvious defense that’s long been available to private businesses.

Under the defense, a local government can argue that a defect in a sidewalk or other public property should have been “open and obvious” to the person who was injured. It can be a tough legal threshold to overcome.

Personal injury lawyers oppose the law. They say local governments now will be effectively immune to lawsuits and have no incentive to fix broken sidewalks.


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