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July 08, 2020

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Michigan Legislation Update: Horses, Taxes, Soil Erosion Permits

Two new laws and a bill introduced in the House have gained support from Michigan Farm Bureau. Michigan Farm News reports that the Equine Liability Act (Public Act 87 of 2015) has been amended to protect equine activity sponsors or professionals from being liable for damages unless they commit "an act or omission that constitutes a willful and wonton disregard for the safety of the participant, and that is a proximate cause of the injury, death or damage." New legislation (PA 107 of 2015) amends the state tax law to include provisions concerning the exemption of state qualified forest property from school operating taxes. Finally, House Bill 4604 "would amend the Natural Resource Environmental Protection act to exempt certain agricultural-related activities from the requirement of a soil erosion and sedimentation control permit, so long as they do not discharge into a water of the state, or off the site. Activities include: construction, maintenance or removal of fence, the removal of tree or shrub stumps or roots, and the installation of drainage tile, irrigation, or electrical lines." 

© 2020 Varnum LLPNational Law Review, Volume V, Number 261


About this Author

Aaron M. Phelps, Varnum, litigation attorney

For over 15 years, Aaron's practice has been focused on complex commercial and environmental litigation - in Michigan and around the country. Aaron has represented clients in contract and corporate governance disputes, telecommunications and energy matters, health care litigation, and tort actions.

Over the last five years, Aaron has represented over 200 companies in lawsuits against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for ERISA violations. The first trial resulted in a $6 million judgment, and subsequent judgments ranged from $315,000 to over $8 million. Currently...