Loweke v. Ann Arbor Ceiling and Partition Company

Loweke Clarifies the Fultz Analysis and Reverses in Favor of Plaintiff Third-Party in Tort Action

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Here’s the Court’s opinion in Loweke, which modified the analysis of Fultz and clarified the law in that regard; Fultz does not extinguish potential common-law or statutory duties that a contractor or subcontractor may have to a third-party that is a stranger to the contract. Since Banaszak and Bruglio, two peremptory orders by the Michigan Supreme Court, lower courts have misinterpreted Fultz for the proposition that the language of a contract between two parties can be used to obscure the prima facie duty that one of the contracting parties might have to another, third party. Even if a party is performing a contract with another party, the former may still owe a common-law or statutory duty to another and may be answerable to that party in a cause of action sounding in tort. The mere existence of a contract cannot be used to extinguish a duty that otherwise exists independent of the contract and the contractual relations between two parties where a third-party is injured by a tort committed by one of the contracting parties.

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

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