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MUNICIPAL LAW: Supreme Court affirms governmental immunity application to injury arising out of use of municipal pool

The town rented its pool to an entity which hosted aqua therapy at the pool.  The town was paid $50.00 per hour for use of the pool.  The plaintiff slipped and fell on wet pool stairs, resulting in injury.  The Supreme Court rejects the plaintiff’s claim that the rental of the pool transforms the pool operation into a proprietary function for which the town could be held liable.

The court reasoned that the rental fee was nominal and that the rental of the pool was consistent with the town’s goal of promoting health, and because the town operated the pool at a loss despite receiving the rental fees, the municipal pool was a governmental function to which municipal immunity attached.  The court further held that the identifiable victim/imminent harm exception did not apply since this was a voluntary activity participated in by the plaintiff.

St. Pierre v. Plainfield, SC 19871 (8/8/17)