Procedural mistakes costly for bus driver in lawsuit

Associated Press

Detroit — A Detroit school bus driver who suffered fractures after falling into an uncovered manhole can’t sue the city for her injuries.

Rosie Withers’ defeat isn’t based on the merits of her case. The Michigan appeals court says she flunked critical rules when informing a local government about a possible tort claim because of the bad road.

The notice went to the Detroit law department, not an individual. Withers’ lawyer also sent it by first-class mail, not in person or by certified mail, as Michigan law states.

A Wayne County judge said the lawsuit could go forward anyway, but the appeals court disagreed and reversed the decision last week, 3-0.

The incident occurred in 2013. The city says Withers fell in an open catch basin, not an uncovered manhole.