A family was staying at the Watervale Inn up in northern Michigan's Benzie County, near Lake Michigan, when their 10 year old daughter burned her foot on the hot coal remnants of a beach bonfire, which had been covered with sand. The family sued the Inn, but a judge in Benzie County said the facility was protected by a state law which limits liability of businesses that provide recreation.

The family appealed the ruling and the MI appellate court said this week that the Watervale Inn can indeed be sued. The court said that the law protecting facilities that provide recreation is geared more for those who are hunting and fishing, where participants can reasonably expect a level of risk, as opposed to a kid building a sand castle, which is a more passive activity.

The Watervale Inn contends that the bonfire remnants had been buried with sand, hardly making them liable for the girl's injuries.


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