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Court holds operation of water park and adjacent picnic area are governmental, not proprietary function

The parents of Ashley Cameron attempted to sue the Huron Clinton Metropolitan Authority after Ashley and another girl were burned when they stepped on hot charcoals dumped by another patron in the picnic area.  Ashley's family was eating a picnic lunch before entering the adjacent water park.  Her parents argued that the HCMA should not be immune from liability because the water park was operated for pecuniary gain.

Michigan courts have, of late, refused to recognize that golf courses, marinas and other revenue-generating activities are proprietary functions, regardless of whether they operate at a profit.  Therefore, it was no surprise that the Court of Appeals upheld the summary disposition of the Camerons' lawsuit.  The Court held that it was irrelevant whether the water park was a proprietary function because the injury occurred in the picnic area before the family entered the water park.

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