April 10, 2019, at Detroit.
Circuit Court, LC No. 17-008903-NO, Edward Ewell, Jr., J.
Law Office, PLLC (by Sherrie C. Ross) for plaintiff.
Kruse, PC (by James E. Sukkar and Gregory P. LaVoy) for
Murray, C.J., and Sawyer and Redford, JJ.
Mich.App. 304] We granted the application for leave to appeal
filed by defendants, Guang Hui Liang (Liang) and G. Liang,
Inc., doing business as Chans Chinese Restaurant, Inc.
(Chans), to consider whether Liang is entitled
to parental immunity from the claims brought against him by
his son, plaintiff McCarty Ji Liang, for an injury plaintiff
suffered at Liangs business. For the reasons that follow, we
hold that parental immunity bars the negligence-based claims
against Liang but that the immunity doctrine has no bearing
on the premises-liability claim against the corporate entity.
Accordingly, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand
for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
case arises from the injuries suffered by plaintiff at
Chans, his father Liangs restaurant. Plaintiff, who was
five years old at the time, arrived at Chans between 9:30
p.m. and 10:00 p.m. with his mother, Guo Ying Cao, to
surprise Liang for Fathers Day. Although Chans operated
only as a take-out restaurant, it had a full dining room in
the front where plaintiff and Cao [328 Mich.App. 305] waited
while Liang prepared for closing by cleaning and prepping
food for the next day. When Cao walked away to inform a
customer at the take-out window that Chans had closed for
the night, plaintiff wandered out of the dining area and into
a room that housed the restaurants industrial meat grinder.
The room, separated from the kitchen, was near the bathroom,
and the meat grinder was plugged in on the floor. Plaintiff
attempted to operate the meat grinder, but caught and injured
his hand in the machine, ultimately requiring amputation of
suit against defendants, plaintiff alleged common-law
negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress
(NIED), and premises liability. In lieu of an answer,
defendants moved for summary disposition of the complaint
pursuant to MCR 2.116(C)(7) and (8), asserting entitlement to
parental immunity from plaintiffs claims. Plaintiff
responded by arguing that parental immunity could not shield
Chans, a corporate entity, from liability and that his
complaint did not allege negligent supervision as Liang was
acting in a business capacity at the time of the injuries.
Further, plaintiff asserted that parental immunity did not
apply to his premises-liability claim because property owners
owe a heightened duty of care to licensees. Ultimately, the
trial court denied defendants motion, holding that parental
immunity could not shield defendants from liability because
Liang was acting as a business owner when plaintiffs
injuries occurred and had a duty to plaintiff as an invitee
on the property.
first address defendants argument that the trial court erred
when it concluded that parental immunity did not bar
plaintiffs claims against Liang. We agree [328 Mich.App.
306] and hold that, notwithstanding the fact that plaintiffs