Category Archives: Recreational Liability

Second Department Affirms Dismissal of Ice Skating Rink Case – Water Does not Make Ice More Slippery

The plaintiff, an adult male, tried ice skating for the first time on a Spring day at our client’s ice rink.  He stepped out on the ice and while still holding on to the boards took a second step and fell backwards onto his posterior breaking his ankle which required surgery.    He alleged that his skate slipped because he had stepped onto a wet spot on the ice and also that he was given the wrong size skates.

The claim that wet ice caused someone to fall is a claim we have seen over the years.  This time we decided to hire an expert to test the claim.  Our expert did coefficient testing on wet ice and dry ice before and after cleaning with a Zamboni and scientifically determined there was no significant difference between the slipperiness of wet and dry ice. Continue reading

G&S Obtains Dismissal of Skating Rink Case Based on Assumption of the Risk – Man Spinning Woman on Ice Against her Will was not Reckless Conduct so as to Fall Outside Assumption of Risk Doctrine

Plaintiff and her friend were ice skating when she observed a man skating in a dangerous manner skating the wrong direction and pushing other people on the rink. They continued to skate when this individual stopped the conduct.  When after a half hour on the ice they saw this individual swinging a woman around him on the ice against her will they decided to leave the ice.  As plaintiff was skating by the couple their hands released sending the male “flying” into her knocking her down and causing her to break her wrist.

We argued that that being knocked to the ice by another skater is a risk that ice skaters assume when they agree to participate in the sport of ice skating. Plaintiff was an experienced skater and continued to skate despite being aware the individual who knocked her down had skated inappropriately in a manner she considered dangerous.  We argued that the exception to this doctrine, where the person is injured when struck by someone skating “recklessly” did not apply, because the conduct describe was not reckless and occurred too suddenly for the rink to have been able to prevent.  We reviewed for the court historic examples of reckless conduct and argued that a man and woman holding hands and skating in circles did not approach the standard for recklessness.  We also argued that  the accident occurred so suddenly and precipitously that it could not have been prevented or anticipated by the rink.  Continue reading

Gordon & Silber Obtains Dismissal On Behalf Of The New York Yankees And Major League Baseball In Case Featured In The New York Times

Plaintiff, the General Counsel and Executive Vice President of a developer of Manhattan real estate, brought suit for serious personal injuries he sustained to his face after he was struck by a foul ball at a game between the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics in 2011. Plaintiff contended that defendants were negligent because they did not ban the umbrellas that were obstructing his view or cancel or postpone the game due to intermittent and sometimes heavy rainfall.  Continue reading

G&S Wins Appeal Dismissing Complaint of Health Club Member who Fractured Hip in Fall

Our client health club was sued when a member fractured her hip falling in a whirlpool room allegedly due to an excessively wet floor Plaintiff underwent two surgeries as a result. We moved for summary judgment on the theory the water condition was incidental to the whirlpool. We also argued that plaintiff’s claim the water was excessive should have been disregarded by the court since she did not observe the condition before she fell. We similarly argued that the affidavits of plaintiff’s witnesses should also have been disregarded since they did not witness the condition contemporaneously with the accident. After the court denied our motion, G&S appealed to the Second Department which reversed, agreeing that the water which caused plaintiff’s accident was incidental to the use of the whirlpool room and therefore not actionable. The Court also agreed with the defendant that the affidavits of the plaintiffs’ witnesses should have been disregarded.

G&S Obtains Dismissal of Claim Against YMCA in Locker Room Slip and Fall Case

The Appellate Division, First Department affirmed the Order of the Supreme Court, Bronx County which granted summary judgment to the YMCA in a locker room slip and fall accident. The female plaintiff, who had been in the women’s locker room, with her daughter, for fifteen minutes, without noticing any water on the locker room floor, allegedly slipped and fell on a puddle of water in close proximity to the bench where she had changed into her bathing suit prior to an aqua aerobics class in the YMCA’s indoor pool.

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Little League Baseball Coach Sues 14 Year Old Player on his Own Team For Throwing Helmet

A California Little League baseball coach Alan Beck has sued a 14-year-old he was coaching as well as the child’s parents, alleging that after getting the game-winning hit the boy tossed off his helmet as he was running toward home plate which allegedly struck Beck’s Achilles tendon and tore it.

The complaint asks for $500,000 in pain and suffering and $100,000 in lost wages and medical bills and also named the boy’s parents who have reportedly already spent $4,000 defending the action.  The case has no merit and is frankly, suspicious.

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