The title to this entry is how Justice Weaver, one of
The defendant – the City of
As they walked around the pile of snow created by the City of Lansing, a drunk driver hit them. Killed one, caused severe injuries [brain damage] to the other. City later admitted it had an “unwritten policy” of just abandoning this stretch of public sidewalk for the winter. Not clearing or caring for it at all. Under
The Taylor court ignored the laws passed by our Legislature, ignored the tragic facts of this situation, re-wrote the language of the law to their liking [adding the words “structural defect” where they don’t exist], applied its own radical new reversals of previous law [the Nawrocki decision] to a new type situation [cities], and created new law that pretty much absolves cities of any responsibility for not just clearing sidewalks, but for avoiding the active obstruction of sidewalks or doing anything at all to make sure sidewalks are usable. Justice Taylor reversed the ruling of the trial court, reversed the ruling of three judges from the Michigan Court [who were unanimous in their findings] and let the city of Lansing off the hook for causing this horrible situation.
Why would Justice Taylor do this? The last time I posed this question in this blog it was a 30 million dollar verdict against Chrysler for sexually harassing female employees. A verdict rendered by a jury of peers, a verdict affirmed by the trial judge and a verdict affirmed by the Court of Appeals, yet it was thrown out by Justice Taylor. I asked the question why and began digging through his campaign finance records only to find that Chrysler had donated nearly $100,000.00 in monies to Taylor’s campaign [this figure doesn’t include possible soft-money donations from Defendant Chrysler]. I don’t have the time to do the same with this injustice, but my guess is if we dug into Justice Taylor’s campaign finance records, we’ll find donations from The Municipal League or the insurer that was responsible for The City of Lansing’s negligence and maybe even the law firms that represented the defendant’s in this matter. I don’t know, because I don’t have the time to look it up and in light of what I found last time, nothing would surprise me…..
The dissent to
Justice Taylor’s court has tried to spin this abrupt reversal of
Fortunately, there is something we can do about this. Justice Taylor is up for re-election this November. Remember what Justice Taylor did to young Chantell Buckner. Her death shouldn’t be remembered as a case of judicial activism gone wrong. Her case should be remembered as the one that caused the
A vote against Cliff Taylor is a vote for Chantell.
Mr. Smith has practiced as a trial attorney since graduating Notre Dame Law School in 1992. He has litigated cases across the country including cases from Ventura County, California to Middlesex County, New Jersey. He practices in both State and Federal courts.