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161051 - Doreen Rott v Arthut Rott

Doreen Rott,


Melissa Stewart





(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)



(Oakland– Matthews, C.)


Arthur Rott,


Ronald Paul





The plaintiff brought claims of negligence and premises liability against the defendant, her brother, after she was allegedly injured on his zip line.  The defendant pled various defenses, including a defense under the recreational land use act (“RUA”), MCL 324.73301(1), which if applicable would mean that the defendant was only liable for gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct.   The defendant filed a motion for summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(8) and (10), arguing that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the RUA, and the plaintiff responded that the RUA did not apply because she was not on the land for the purpose of riding the zip line and the RUA did not cover zip lines.  The trial court held that the RUA applied, but that there were genuine issues of material fact regarding whether the defendant engaged in gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct.   Both parties filed applications for leave to appeal.  The Court of Appeals denied the plaintiff’s application “for failure to persuade the Court of the need for immediate appellate review,” granted the defendant’s application, and issued an unpublished opinion holding that there was not a genuine issue of material fact and reversing and remanding for entry of an order granting summary disposition to the defendant under MCR 2.116(C)(10).  Following entry of the order in the trial court, the plaintiff appealed, challenging whether the RUA applied.  The Court of Appeals affirmed in a published opinion, holding that the plaintiff’s arguments regarding the applicability of the RUA were subject to the law of the case doctrine and that, regardless, the RUA applied.  The Supreme Court has ordered oral argument on the application to address:  (1) whether the Court of Appeals erred in its application of the law of the case doctrine; (2) the proper interpretation of the “for the purpose of” language in the RUA, MCL 324.73301(1); and (3) whether zip lining falls within the purview of the RUA​