Loweke et al v. Ann Arbor Ceiling & Partition Co.

Supreme Court Grants to Address No Independent Duty in Tort Where Claim is Covered by Contract

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The Supreme Court will here a case of some significance to the latent "no independent duty in tort" theory where a claim is covered by a contract. Attached is the order granting leave from the Court of Appeals decision, which addressed the "no independent duty in tort" theory in the context of a subcontractor's claim of negligence. The Court of Appeals held that the trial court properly granted summary judgment to the general contractor where a subcontractor's employee was injured on the job site. Consistent with prior Supreme Court precedent, the Court of Appeals held that the plaintiff had failed to prove that the general contractor owed a duty "separate and distinct" as that encompassed within the contract and thus, no tort remedy would lie. Judge (now Justice) Zahra was on the Court of Appeals panel. The "prior" Supreme Court granted this back in September presumably to try and put to rest the issue regarding Fultz / Banaszak and to issue a full-fledged opinion on the matter. Now the makeup of the Court has changed, so it will be interesting, although Zahra will not be a factor as he will sit out, so it could be a 3-3 split. If you have any questions about the issues in this case, please do not hesitate to contact me. Carson Tucker

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Law Offices of Carson J. Tucker, JD, MSEL on:

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