State immune to lawsuit in ankle injury on M-22

SUTTONS BAY, Mich. (AP) — In a victory for state and local governments, the Michigan Supreme Court says the Transportation Department is immune to a lawsuit by a pedestrian who broke her ankle on a popular road.

The issue is whether a parallel parking lane on M-22 in Suttons Bay was designed for “vehicular travel.” In a 4-3 decision Wednesday, the court said no, which means the state is immune to Helen Yono’s lawsuit under Michigan law.

The state, county road commissions and insurers had urged the Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the Michigan appeals court, which set a new standard for road liability.

Yono sued after falling into a depression. Justice Joan Larsen says the lane was marked as a parking area with no indication that it was designed for travel.

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