PONTIAC (WWJ/AP) – A car wash in the winter? Look out for ice.

The Michigan appeals court has ruled in favor of a Pontiac car wash in a lawsuit by a customer who fell when he got out of his car to adjust the mirrors.

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Eugene Rogers blamed Ultimate Auto Wash for the black ice. He said he was “violently thrown to the ground” without warning when he stepped out of his vehicle after it was washed.

The appeals court, however, said Rogers could have driven a short distance and adjusted his mirrors or simply rolled down the windows and stayed in the car.

The court said anyone with “ordinary intelligence” would know that water running off vehicles at a car wash would likely form ice.

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Slip-and-fall lawsuits, once a staple for injury attorneys, have become extremely difficult in Michigan courts. Feet flying in the air because of water, ice or snow? Case dismissed — unless someone absolutely can’t avoid the hazard.

Lawyers acknowledge that not every lawsuit is going to be a winner when someone seeks money for lost wages or medical bills. But the decision should be left to a jury at trial, they say, not a judge or a higher court.

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