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Claim against roller rink dismissed after employee collides with skater

The Court of Appeals ruled that Skateland Arena in Flint owed no duty to Daquiri Hines, a minor who was injured when he was run down by the Arena's employee, Kelly Maule, while both were observing a game of dodge ball at the arena.  The Court ruled that Hines' attorneys had not met their burden of demonstrating that Skateland did not comply with the safety standards published by the rink operators association, and that Skateland owed Hines no other duty under the Roller Skating Safety Act. 

While the court recognized that the Legislature did not intend to grant roller rinks complete immunity under the RSSA, it nevertheless concluded that Hines had "assumed the risk" of injury and refused to follow the guidance of a previous decision that required rink floor guards to exercise "good judgment".  The case is another example of the special privileges and immunities afforded business entities with special access to lobbyists and legislators. 

Were roller rinks leaving the state due to liability problems?  Do they serve such an important public purpose that we should afford them immunity from their mistakes and from the injuries they cause?  Sadly, none of that matters.  They had the votes in the legislature, and sometimes they have the votes in court, to grab civil protection that ordinary people aren't accorded.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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