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      Traverse City, harbor master cleared in marina death lawsuit

      The City of Traverse City and the harbor master at the Clinch Park marina will not be held liable for the death of a teenager from Mancelona.

      The City of Traverse City and the harbormaster at the Clinch Park marina will not be held liable for the death of a teenager from Mancelona.

      The Michigan Court of Appeals dismissed harbormaster Barry Smith from the lawsuit claiming negligence in the death of Michael Knudson.

      Judge Thomas Power, of the 13th Circuit Court, decided in 2013 to dismiss the city, marina, and former Director of Public Services from the case based on the idea of governmental immunity. Smith was not dismissed, however, and faced a jury trial to decide whether or not he acted in a "gross negligence."

      The city appealed the decision, however, and the Michigan Court of Appeals dismissed Smith from the lawsuits.

      Knudson died in 2011 after being electrocuted when he jumped into the water at the Clinch Park marina. Knudson's family and a friend who jumped in the water to help filed suits against the city, marina, harbormaster as well as the electricians who worked on the marina.