492 N.W.2d 472 (Mich. Ct. App. 1992)
PROCEDURAL POSTURE: Plaintiffs, injured party and his wife, appealed from the order of the trial court (Michigan), which granted defendant corporations' motion for summary disposition pursuant to Mich. Ct. R. 2.116(C)(8) in the injured party's action alleging that the corporations had a duty to warn him of the approaching thunderstorm which caused a tree to fall on and paralyze him.
-While attending an outdoor basketball tournament organized and sponsored by the corporations, the injured party was struck by a falling tree when a thunderstorm caused the tree to fall.
-The injured party argued that, because of the special relationship that existed between the corporations and himself, a spectator at the tournament, the corporations were under a duty to warn him of the approaching thunderstorm.
-The court held that that the corporations were under no duty to warn the injured party of the approaching thunderstorm.
No special relationship existed between the injured party and the corporations as they were not engaged in a business invitee-invitor relationship at the time of the accident and the injured party was not on the land where the basketball tournament was being held in connection "with business dealings" of the corporations.
-There was no indication in the record that the injured party entrusted himself to the control and protection of the corporations or that, pursuant to his relationship with the corporations, the injured party lost the ability to protect himself.
-In a special relationship, one person entrusts himself to the control and protection of another, with a consequent loss of control to protect himself.
-The duty to protect is imposed upon the person in control because he is in the best position to provide a place of safety.
-The determination whether a duty-imposing special relationship exists in a particular case involves the determination whether the plaintiff entrusted himself to the control and protection of the defendant, with a consequent loss of control to protect himself.
OUTCOME: The court affirmed the summary judgment in favor of the corporations.
Interested in learning how to get the top grades in your law school classes? Want to learn how to study smarter than your competition? Interested in transferring to a high ranked school?