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Tourist Association maintaining trail through grant is not entitled to protection of recreational user act.

Michigan has adopted the Recreational User Act which protects owners and lessees of property from claims of negligence if they open the property to recreational use.  Beverly Duffy was hurt while using a trail maintained by the Irons Area Tourist Association.  The Association argued that it should recieve the benefit of the RUA and be held accountable for injuries it caused only if the victim could demonstrate "gross nelgigence or willful and wanton misconduct." 

The Court pointed out that under the statute, the higher threshold for liability applied only to "owners, lessees or tenants" (i.e., persons having an ownership interest or the exclusive possession and control over land--and the power to open it to public use).  Since the Defendant in this case maintained the land pursuant to a financial grant from the government, and did not own or possess the property, it could not avail itself of the benefit of the RUA.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262