Injured? Contact Sinas Dramis for a free consultation.


June v Tuttle (COA – UNP 5/15/2018; RB #3751)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket #339597; Unpublished
Judges Meter, Gadola, and Tukel per Curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion 



In this per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s grant of summary disposition regarding the co-Defendant Quality Converters (“Quality”) negligence in setting up a spike strip on the entranceway to its campsite. The Court found that Quality did not owe a duty to Plaintiffs Patrick and Molly June (“the Junes”) because the injury did not result from a design, development, or maintenance of the property.

Co-Defendant Jeffrey Tuttle (“Tuttle”) was driving northbound on Old US 27 in Calhoun County when he began to make a left turn into the driveway of a campground owned by Quality. Tuttle in fact was turning into the exit driveway of the campground, which had a spike strip to prevent individuals from entering. When Tuttle noticed the spike strip on the pavement of the driveway, he veered back onto the highway and into the path of oncoming traffic. The Junes were riding on a motorcycle and collided with Tuttle head-on. Both were severely injured. The Junes brought an action against Quality and Tuttle for negligence. Quality moved for summary disposition arguing that the Junes failed to state a claim on which relief could be granted. The trial court agreed and granted summary disposition for Quality.

The trial court found that Quality was not negligent because it did not owe a duty to the Junes. The Court first explained that the elements of negligence are: duty, breach, cause, and damage. Moreover, the determination of a duty is a legal determination. The Court then distinguished this case from Langen v Rushton, 138 Mich App 672; 360 NW2d 270 (1985) where the Court found a duty was owed by a landowner to a motorist because the landowner maintained a tree that obstructed the vision of exiting motorists. The Court explained that in this case there was no obstruction of oncoming traffic. Rather, there was simply a spike strip. The Court analogized the case to Cavaliere v Adults for Kids, 149 Mich App 756; 386 NW2d 667 (1986) where the Court found no duty was owed by a landowner when a landing helicopter distracted a driver who subsequently caused an accident. The Court explained that the spike strip was did not cause the accident, but instead the actions of Tuttle, in reaction to the spike strip, caused the accident. Further, the spike strip was similar to a gate that forbids individuals from entering. Tuttle’s detour into the oncoming traffic lane was only in reaction to the spike strip and thus it was not foreseeable. Because the accident was not foreseeable, Quality owed no duty to the Junes. The Court similarly rejected the Junes arguments for nuisance and the motion to amend the complaint.

“As noted, the threshold question in any negligence action is whether the defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff, focusing the inquiry upon the relationship of the parties and the foreseeability of the harm. Johnson, 189 Mich App at 659. In this case, to conclude that Quality owed a duty to plaintiffs under the facts of this case would be an expansion of the obligation described in Langen, and in contrast to Cavaliere, which concluded that a military helicopter landing near the highway was not sufficiently distracting to impose liability. We therefore conclude that the trial court properly granted Quality’s motion for summary disposition as to plaintiffs’ claim of negligence.”

Thus, the Court granted summary disposition for Quality against the Junes.

Michigan auto accident attorney Stephen Sinas is the lead editor of the appellate case summaries published on this site regarding the Michigan auto insurance law. To learn more about how Stephen Sinas and how the Sinas Dramis Law Firm can help you if you have been injured in a Michigan auto accident, visit

Copyright © 2024  Sinas Dramis Law Firm, George Sinas, Stephen Sinas.
All Rights Reserved.
Login (Publishers Only)