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Fri December 16, 2011
Supreme Court dismisses bicyclist lawsuit against mining company
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI –
The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled an Upper Peninsula mining company is not legally responsible for maintaining an intersection heavily traveled by its trucks - or for the critical injuries suffered by a bicyclist who lost her balance at the rough juncture. More from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.
Debra McCue was tossed from her bike while riding in the DALMAC bicycle tour along the southern edge of the Upper Peninsula. She hit a rough patch at an intersection with a private gravel road owned by the O.N. Minerals Company. It is commonly used by the company's trucks and bulldozers. The Supreme Court earlier dismissed the family's lawsuit against the state Department of Transportation because McCue had signed a waiver.
The Supreme Court's Republican majority says the private company had no duty to maintain the intersection, even if it was responsible for wearing it down to the point where steel support beams were exposed. The court's Democrats dissented. Justice Michael Cavanagh wrote that, at the very least, the mining company should have informed the state about the condition of the intersection.