Senate Considers Bill Expanding Highway Governmental Immunity

Posted on February 6, 2014 by Dene Westbrook

Yesterday the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee held testimony on Senate Bill 733, a bill that would amend the governmental immunity law to limit the highway defect liability of a governmental agency for bodily injury to a pedestrian or other person who was not traveling in a motor vehicle on the improved portion of a highway, or for damage to the person’s property.

Under the bill the plaintiff would have to prove that the governmental agency knew or should have known of the highway defect at least 30 days before the incident. In addition the governmental agency would be presumed to have maintained the highway in reasonable repair.

The presumption could be rebutted only by proof that a vertical discontinuity defect of two inches or more in the highway, or another dangerous condition in the highway itself of a particular character, or both, was a proximate cause of the injury or damage.

The committee did not vote on the legislation.

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League.  She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or email at [email protected]

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