STATE OF MICHIGAN
IN THE EATON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
Sandra Cowling, as next friend of MOTION FOR
Timothy Cowling, a minor, and SUMMARY
Sandra Cowling, DISPOSITION
BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF
v. PROPOSED ORDER
PROOF OF SERVICE
International Department Stores, Inc., File No: 03-1234-NI
a Michigan Corporation, and
Sam Security, jointly and severally, Hon. Ima Judge
Evelyn C. Tombers (P44444) Andrew Quinn (P22222)
Tombers and Associates, P.C. Quinn and Quinn, P.C.
Attorneys for the Plaintiff Attorneys for the Defendants
300 S. Capitol Ave. 217 S. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933 Lansing, MI 48933
(517) 371-5140 517-555-1212
MOTION FOR SUMMARY DISPOSITION1
The Defendants, International Department Stores, Inc., and Sam
Security through their attorneys, Quinn & Quinn, P.C., move for summary
disposition of Count II of Plaintiffs’ Complaint under MCR 2.116(C)(8) and MCR
2.116(C)(10). In support of their motion, the defendants state:
1. Plaintiffs claim that Timothy Cowling was injured when he was
bumped off of the curb in front of the International Department Store and into
1 This motion and the brief in support of it were originally prepared by Giuseppina M. Fricano
for Profs. Sundstrum and Schlossberg’s Michaelmas 1999 Law Practice class. It has been
the path of an oncoming car. (See Complaint at ¶¶ 25, 27, 35, attached as
2. Plaintiffs claim that International Department Store and Sam
Security owed Cowling, who they claim was a business invitee, a duty to “take
reasonable precautions to prevent foreseeable harm to Timothy Cowling,
including warning him of and protecting him from the dangers that the store or
its employees knew about, should have known about, or created.” (Complaint
at ¶ 32.)
3. Any duty to a business invitee ends when the person is no longer
on an invitor’s premises. Locklear v Stinson, 161 Mich App 713, 717-718; 411
NW2d 834 (1987)
4. Plaintiff, Timothy Cowling, was no longer inside the store when his
injury occurred. (Deposition of Timothy Cowling at p 10:10-16, 22-25,
attached as Exhibit B.)
5. International Department Store’s duty to Timothy Cowling ended
when Timothy Cowling left the store.
6. Any duty to exercise reasonable precautions to prevent foreseeable
harm likewise ends when the person injured is no longer on property a
defendant owns or controls. Swartz v Huffmaster Alarm Systems, Inc., 145
Mich App 431, 436; 377 NW2d 393 (1985).
7. As noted, Timothy Cowling was not inside the International
Department Store when the incident occurred. (Cowling Dep. at p 10:10-16,
8. An invitor does not owe its invitees a duty to protect them from
criminal activity of others. MacDonald v PKT Inc., 464 Mich. 322, 335; 628
NW2d 33 (2001).
9. The gang youths who were outside the store with Timothy Cowling
were “shoving each other, yelling at each other . . . call[ing] each other nasty
names.” (Cowling Dep at 12:23-25.) In short, the gang youths were creating a
disturbance; they were being disorderly persons. See MCL 750.167 (disorderly
person defined); MCL 750.168 (penalty for violation of disorderly person
10. While they were being disorderly, one of the gang youths pushed
Timothy Cowling off of the sidewalk. (Cowling Dep at 13:1-3.)
11. Neither International Department Stores Inc., nor Sam Security
owed or breached a duty Timothy Cowling to protect him from the criminal acts
of the Young Hoods gang members.
12. Because the Plaintiffs cannot dispute these facts, and because as a
matter of law International Department Stores, Inc., and Sam Security neither
owed nor breached any duties to Timothy Cowling, summary disposition of
Count II of Plaintiffs’ Complaint is appropriate, and it should be granted.
For these reasons, and for the reasons stated in the brief in support of
this motion, the Defendants respectfully ask this Court to grant their motion
for summary disposition of Count II of the Plaintiffs’ Complaint.
Andrew Quinn (P22222)
Quinn and Associates, P.C.
217 S. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933
Dated: June 23, 2002