SHAUNDRA BOARD V CITY OF HIGHLAND PARKAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
SHAUNDRA BOARD, a minor, by her next friend
December 4, 1998
Wayne Circuit Court
LC No. 96-600423 NO
CITY OF HIGHLAND PARK,
Before: Sawyer, P.J., and Wahls and Hoekstra, JJ.
Plaintiff appeals by right the trial court order granting defendant’s motion for summary
disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(10) on governmental immunity grounds. We affirm. This appeal is
being decided without oral argument pursuant to MCR 7.214(E).
Shaundra Board was injured when her thumb became stuck in a defective guardrail on a slide.
The slide was attached to a structure made up of bars, and shaped like a rocket. Plaintiff alleged that
the structure was a building, and that this action came within the public building exception to
governmental immunity, MCL 691.1406; MSA 3.996(106). The trial court found that the structure did
not constitute a building, and granted defendant’s motion for summary disposition.
A five-part test determines whether the public building exception governs a particular case.
Jackson v Detroit, 449 Mich 420, 428; 537 NW2d 151 (1995). To fall within the confines of the
exception, a plaintiff must prove that (1) a governmental agency is involved, (2) the public building in
question is open for use by members of the public, (3) a dangerous condition of the building itself exists,
(4) the governmental agency had actual or constructive knowledge of the alleged defect, and (5) the
governmental agency failed to remedy the alleged defect after a reasonable time period. Id.
In Ali v Detroit, 218 Mich App 581, 584; 554 NW2d 384 (1996), this Court observed that
the term building was not defined in the statute, and it employed two dictionary definitions of the term.
A building is a relatively permanent boxlike construction having a roof and used for any of a wide variety
of activities. Id. Alternatively, a building is a structure designed for habitation, shelter, storage, trade,
manufacturing, religion, business, education and the like. Id.
The trial court did not err in finding that the structure does not constitute a building. The edifice
appears to be nothing more than a slide attached to monkey bars, apparently giving the fanciful shape of
a rocketship. A slide by itself in a public park does not constitute a public building. See Jolly v City of
St Clair, 428 Mich 860; 400 NW2d 597 (1987); Freedman v Oak Park, 170 Mich App 349, 353;
427 NW2d 557 (1988).
/s/ David H. Sawyer
/s/ Myron H. Wahls
/s/ Joel P. Hoekstra