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On the Sideline: If Risk is Not Foreseeable then Standard of Ordinary Care Applies

Amusement and Leisure / November 20, 2018

Ritchie-Gamester set the standard of care for coparticipants in a recreational or sporting activity as a reckless misconduct standard. The rationale behind the Ritchie-Gamester holding was that participants voluntarily assume certain risks that are inherent to the activity in which they are participating. Recently, Secrest Wardle’s Amusement & Leisure group member, Renee T. Townsend, represented a golfer in the seminal Michigan Supreme Court case, Bertin v Mann, 502 Mich 603 (2018), that analyzed the Ritchie-Gamester standard when a person was allegedly injured when struck by a golf cart during a round of golf. The Court in Bertin held that “inherent risks” under Ritchie-Gamester are those that are reasonably foreseeable under the circumstances of the case. When an injury arises from such risk, the reckless misconduct standard applies.

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