Prepared by: Kandace Campbell & Patrick Stieve

178 Mich. App. 672 (1989)
444 N.W.2d 143
HENDRICKS
v.
SOUTHFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Docket No. 104017.
Michigan Court of Appeals.
Decided March 22, 1989.


Background: The Plaintiffs are making a number of arguments about the piles of snow on school grounds. They were using these arguments in trying to get granted a summary disposition. One of the plaintiff’s arguments was that the piles of snow were an intentional nuisance against a governmental agency. Another argument made by the plaintiffs was that the public building exception to governmental immunity applies to their case because the piles of snow located on the school playground constitute a dangerous condition of a public building. There was an injury of some sort due to the snow piles, but this case did not fight about that injury.

Decision: In the case of governmental immunity; the court decided that the plaintiffs failed to plead facts in avoidance of governmental immunity. The court did not believe that the Legislature intended its immunity exception to include the temporary condition of snow piles. In the case of the snow being an intentional nuisance; the court was not persuaded by plaintiffs' argument that the mounds of snow should be deemed an intentional nuisance by which the claim of governmental immunity could be overcome. The summary disposition was not granted to the plaintiffs.

Impact on teaching: The only thing that we as new teachers can take away from this is, beware of your surroundings. Don't get caught up in a situation that you or the school could be sued for. Be proactive in creating a safe enviorment for your students. Today, people are sueing school systems for just about anything; so the more aware we become as teachers the better off our careers will be.

Quiz/test question:

T/F
Hendricks V. Southfield was a court case that involved a school being sued over a mound of snow.