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The court properly held that defendant snow removal company was not responsible for any injuries or damages that resulted from the icy or slippery conditions of the property that were contracted to plow

The court held that the trial court applied the correct standard of review in granting the defendant-snow removal company summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(8), and correctly determined that the plaintiffs were not entitled to relief under a third-party beneficiary theory. Further, the trial court did not misconstrue Fultz andLoweke, and correctly concluded that defendant did not owe plaintiffs common-law duties that were imposed on the fast food restaurant where the slip and fall occurred. The plaintiff-wife slipped and fell in the restaurant parking lot. Defendant contracted with the restaurant chain to provide snow removal services for the restaurant. That contract "required defendant to plow the parking lot whenever there was an accumulation of two or more inches of snow. It expressly excluded salt services and the clearing of sidewalks on the property. It also expressly provided that defendant would not be responsible for damages of any kind resulting from injuries sustained due to slippery conditions that existed on the property." Plaintiffs claimed that they were "the intended beneficiaries to the contract" because the contract "was obviously entered into for the benefit of its patrons." However, this was "simply untrue. Viewing the contract objectively," the court concluded that defendant and the restaurant "did not intend their contract to benefit plaintiffs as they contend." The contract "does not indicate an intent to benefit patrons. Rather, it does the complete opposite-it expressly states that defendant is not responsible for any injuries or damages that result from the icy or slippery conditions of the property." Because nothing in the contract specifically designated "'plaintiff (or any reasonably identified class) as an intended beneficiary'" of the promise, plaintiff could not be considered an intended third-party beneficiary under MCL 600.1405. If plaintiffs' claim was "purely a breach of contract action," it failed as a matter of law. "The Fultz and Loweke decisions have no impact on this result." The trial court applied "the reasoning of Fultz and Loweke to tort, not contract, theories raised by plaintiffs." Affirmed.

FAMILY LAW 83: A trial court can terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child.

A trial court has discretion to terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child when the conditions of MCL 710.51(6) are met. MCL 710.51(6)(b) requires the petitioner to establish that the other parent had the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the children, and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of two years.

PROBATE 53: The trust agreement included an Incontestability Provision.

A settlor’s intent is to be carried out as nearly as possible. Generally, in terrorem clauses are valid and enforceable. However, a provision in a trust that purports to penalize an interested person for contesting the trust or instituting another proceeding relating to the trust shall not be given effect if probable cause exists for instituting a proceeding contesting the trust or another proceeding relating to the trust.

FAMILY LAW 82: Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order (PPO) after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

However, the trial court concluded that these matters should, in fact, be in the province and the jurisdiction of the Family Division and in that respect, having issued a personal protection order, the Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

What to Do When Homeowners Insurance Denies Your Claim

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What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney

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PROBATE 51: Trust filed a petition to determine title to credit union account.

The probate court explained that the owners of the account are S and J. When S passes, J becomes the owner of the account. J is the one who had the authority to make the designation. Nowhere in any documents is there a designation by J that SJ be the owner -- or the beneficiary of the account. The designation made by his father was no longer binding because he was no longer the owner at the time J passed away.

Invoking Your Right to Remain Silent

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Arrests made by tracking cell phones may be illegal

Originally posted on 02/10/2017 Law enforcement agencies are always looking for an edge in fighting crime. As cell phones have become an indispensable part of life for many people, authorities have taken to using these devices to track...

Could I lose my job over a drunk driving arrest?

Originally posted on 01/20/2017 When potential clients ask us questions about criminal defense representation (particularly for drunk driving offenses) one of the most common is whether they will lose their job.  Naturally, this...

FAMILY LAW 77: Court awarded plaintiff sole legal custody; defendant was unwilling to work with plaintiff.

For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.

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