No liability for northern Michigan inn in bonfire burns

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The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a century-old inn in a lawsuit over hot coals on a Lake Michigan beach.

The court says Watervale Inn is protected by a law that shields landowners from liability during recreational activities. The court last week reversed a decision by the Michigan appeals court.

A 10-year-old girl, Bailey Noble, suffered burns while stepping on the hidden remnants of a beach bonfire in 2013. Bailey wasn't staying at Watervale Inn in Benzie County, but a friend's family had been invited to use the beach.

The case was closely watched by people who allow public access to their properties. They feared that a decision against the inn could make them liable in the future.

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