Court shows interest in lawsuit over death, senior housing

OXFORD (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court is interested in the case of an 89-year-old woman who died a few weeks after she was found outside a senior independent living center in Oakland County.

The court said it will explore whether Independence Village in Oxford had a duty to monitor and secure the side entrances and exits, among other issues. A decision could break new legal ground in a growing form of housing.

Virginia Kermath was wearing only a nightgown when she apparently walked out a side door without her keys in December 2013. She was outdoors for 14 minutes. Hypothermia and frostbite contributed to her death a few weeks later.

An Oakland County judge and the Michigan appeals court have ruled in favor of Independence Village, saying the harm to Kermath wasn't foreseeable.

The Supreme Court will schedule arguments later this year or in 2022. There's no guarantee that the court will take action even after hearing arguments.


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