Traverse City Record-Eagle

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June 6, 2014

State judges dismiss harbormaster from Clinch Marina death suit

TRAVERSE CITY — State appellate judges dismissed a harbormaster from a lawsuit over a teen's electrocution and drowning in Clinch Park's marina.

The June 5 opinion by Michigan Court of Appeals judges sends the negligence case back to 13th Circuit Court, where the family of Michael Knudsen, 18, filed a lawsuit against Traverse City, the marina and marina manager Barry Smith after Knudsen's 2011 death.

An electrical leak from broken city cables and a faulty ground system killed Knudsen, 18, as he swam from a floating dock.

The appellate judges affirmed 13th Circuit Court Judge Thomas Power's decision to dismiss the city and marina because they had governmental immunity, but they reversed Power's decision not to dismiss Smith. The judges found no evidence Smith acted in gross negligence and sent the case back to Power's court for dismissal.

Read more in Saturday's Record-Eagle.

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