Lego v. Liss (Opinion - Leave Granted)Annotate this Case
During an attempted apprehension of an armed-robbery suspect, defendant-police officer Jake Liss shot a fellow officer, plaintiff Michael Lego. Lego and his spouse Pamela filed suit against defendant, asserting gross negligence. The trial court denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. The issue this case presented on appeal to the Supreme Court centered on the scope of the immunity provision of the firefighter’s rule for governmental entities and employees, MCL 600.2966. The Supreme Court disagreed with the Court of Appeals majority that the applicability of MCL 600.2966 could not be decided at this time as a matter of law under the facts presented in this case. "The majority essentially determined that the defendant might not be entitled to immunity if his actions were especially egregious; in other words, if the defendant were grossly negligent, he would not be entitled to immunity because the injury resulting from his actions would not 'arise from the normal, inherent, and foreseeable risks of [Michael Lego’s] profession.'" The Court felt this interpretation of the language “normal, inherent, and foreseeable risks” contravened MCL 600.2966, especially when it was read in conjunction with the general firefighter’s rule, MCL 600.2967. The Court therefore held that the Court of Appeals erred by holding that defendant would not be entitled to immunity if he acted with gross negligence. Accordingly, defendant was entitled to immunity as a matter of law. The Court of Appeals judgment was reversed in part; the case was remanded to the Circuit Court for entry of an order granting summary judgment to defendant.