Franzel v Lapeer Skating Center, Court of Appeals No. 310348
Plaintiff Franzel filed her Complaint alleging negligence in November 2010 for injuries she sustained while roller skating at Lapeer Skating Center on March 19, 2010. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant Lapeer Skating Center was negligent in violation of its duties under the Roller Skating Safety Act (RSSA) in allowing an overcrowded condition and failing to properly monitor/supervise the skating surface. Plaintiff contends she fell sustaining her claimed injury (fractured fibula requiring Open Reduction/Internal Fixation) when a teenager darted out from a “congested” exit startling her. She fell backwards in an effort to avoid a collision. Discovery revealed Defendant’s attendance was approximately 50 percent of capacity and properly staffed in accordance with RSSA Standards. Defendant filed its Motion for Summary Disposition arguing Plaintiff assumed the risk of a fall due to a near collision with another roller skater pursuant to the RSSA, as there was no evidence to support Defendant’s alleged violation of the RSSA nor that those alleged violations were a cause in fact of Plaintiff’s fall. Contrary to defense counsel Anselmi’s expectations, the Trial Court surprisingly denied the Motion for Summary Disposition finding a question of fact as to whether or not Defendant had violated its duties under the RSSA. Defendant’s Application for Leave to Appeal was granted. Following oral arguments on January 14, 2014, the Court of Appeals agreed with Defendant’s arguments, reversed the Trial Court and remanded the matter to Lapeer County Circuit Court for entry of Judgment for Summary Disposition in favor of Defendant. As the prevailing party, the Court of Appeals also ordered that Defendant may tax costs against Plaintiff.