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Court rules that motel owes no duty of safety to minor pool users

In a tragic Ingham County case, Domonique Wheeler drowned in a Comfort Inn pool during his sixth birthday celebration.  Domonique's mother had rented two rooms at the pool and invited five other children to swim with Domonique.  She was watching the children, and her infant, when Domonique slipped under the  water unnoticed for one to five minutes. His mother and another motel guest were unable to revive Domonique.  His Estate filed a wrongful death action against the motel, essentially arguing that it owed a minimal duty to assure the safety of minor pool users through some form of supervision, surveillance and safety equipment.

The trial court and the Court of Appeals rejected the family's claim, pointing out that the pool was in basic compliance with Health Department regulations.  It noted that the motel had assumed no duty to recreational pool users and was not negligent in any activity that contributed to Domonique's death. It refused to impose a legal duty on the part of public commercial recreational facilities to minor guests.
Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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