This summary also appears under Negligence & Intentional Tort
Issues: Whether the motor vehicle exception to governmental immunity (MCL 691.1405) was applicable; Chandler v. Muskegon Cnty.; Governmental Tort Liability Act (MCL 691.1401 et seq.); MCL 691.1407(1); Robinson v. Detroit; Prima facie case of negligence; Loweke v. Ann Arbor Ceiling & Partition Co., LLC; "Gross negligence"; MCL 691.1407(2); Tarlea v. Crabtree; Oliver v. Smith; Costa v. Community Emergency Med. Servs., Inc.; Evidence of an actor's failure to follow proper procedures or comply with general standards or policies; Rakowski v. Sarb; Xu v. Gay; Claim summary disposition was premature because discovery was not complete at the time the trial court granted defendants' motions; CD Barnes Assoc., Inc. v. Star Heaven, LLC; Marilyn Froling Revocable Living Trust v. Bloomfield Hills Country Club; Ensink v. Mecosta Cnty. Gen. Hosp.; Caledonia Community Schools (CCS); Kent Transition Center (KTC)
Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished)
Case Name: Oostdyk v. Caledonia Cmty. Schs.
e-Journal Number: 56458
Judge(s): Per Curiam – Hoekstra, Markey, and Ronayne Krause
Because the court held that defendants were entitled to governmental immunity and no factual basis could provide a basis for recovery by plaintiff, it affirmed the trial court's order granting summary disposition in favor of all the defendants. The case arose as a result of injuries sustained by plaintiff-Oostdyk while riding a school bus owned and operated by defendant-CCS. At the time of the incident, he was a 17-year-old special needs student, diagnosed as emotionally impaired with a history of seizures and asthma. His injuries occurred after he suffered a seizure while riding the school bus from the high school to KTC. Defendant-Homrich, who was employed by CCS, was driving the CCS school bus that day. He decided to continue to KTC because the school bus was already on KTC's campus. As a result of approximately seven minutes without oxygen, plaintiff suffered anoxic brain damage and is now a spastic quadriplegic completely dependent on others for all his needs. Plaintiff argued that summary disposition in favor of CCS was not appropriate because he alleged sufficient facts to show that further factual development could provide a basis for recovery by showing that the motor vehicle exception to governmental immunity applied. However, on appeal, plaintiff did not argue, and there was no evidence to suggest, "that Homrich's driving could be construed as negligent." Plaintiff did not allege that "Homrich took any action, such as accelerating too quickly, abruptly stopping, swerving, jerking the bus, or speeding, that could constitute negligent driving." Rather, plaintiff argued that the fact that Homrich made the decision to drive the bus at all when plaintiff was not properly positioned in his seat was negligent. However, the Supreme Court has held that "the decision to pursue a fleeing motorist, which is separate from the operation of the vehicle itself, is not encompassed within a narrow construction of the phrase 'operation of a motor vehicle.'" Thus, plaintiff's claim that Homrich's choice to drive the bus despite plaintiff's position failed "because the decision to drive a vehicle is separate from that vehicle's operation." Thus, plaintiff's injury did not result from Homrich's negligent operation of the bus because there was no evidence that he negligently operated the bus. The court held that summary disposition in favor of CCS was appropriate because plaintiff failed to show that further factual development could establish that his bodily injury "result[ed] from the negligent operation by any officer, agent, or employee of the governmental agency, of a motor vehicle of which the governmental agency is owner" as required by MCL 691.1405. The court also held that the individual defendants were properly granted summary disposition because plaintiff failed to establish a question of fact as to gross negligence.
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