Watch your step: Fall at party reaches state Supreme Court

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court is trying to sort out the legal significance of a woman's fall at a holiday party.

The court is hearing arguments Tuesday in the case of Susan Blackwell, who missed an 8-inch (20.3-centimeter) step when she stepped into an unlit room at the Oakland County home of a co-worker.

The state appeals court said a jury should determine whether the danger was open and obvious, a key legal standard in Michigan.

The homeowners are appealing. The Supreme Court is exploring whether Blackwell, who was injured, needed to be told the risks of the home.

The Michigan Manufacturers Association is watching the case. The group says a decision against Dean and Debra Franchi would force any property owner to explain every potential hazard to a visitor.

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