Langsam Law LLP

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Ice Skating—A Fun But Dangerous Winter Pastime

Posted January 24, 2017

{2 minutes to read} New York City offers many opportunities for ice skating, from the Winter Village at Bryant Park to the well-known rink at Rockefeller Center. While ice skating can be a fun pastime, it can also be dangerous, and there are precautions that owners and managers of ice rinks must take to keep their customers safe.

Ice rinks that are in constant use, like the tourist attractions in New York City, should be regularly resurfaced with a Zamboni to make sure the ice is smooth, as skates can cause uneven surfaces in the ice that pose a danger to skaters.

The state of rental equipment is also the responsibility of the skating rink. Blades should be regularly sharpened, as dull blades can’t gain traction on ice and increase the danger of falling. Similarly, laces should be intact to keep the skates tight. It is common for skaters to run over laces with their blades, and if the laces are not inspected after each use and changed when damaged, the next renter could trip over a loose lace or not be able to properly fasten their skates.

Crowds and flow are also an important safety precaution for ice rinks. Similar to maximum occupancy numbers for businesses due to fire hazards, overcrowded rinks can be dangerous and should be monitored so that customers can skate freely without tripping over one another.

Skating injuries are another example of the concept of comparative negligence. Even if you are not a particularly adept skater, if there are other circumstances that contributed to your fall, the ice rink may be partially to blame and you can recover damages for their proportionate share of the liability.

Case Study

Langsam Law represented a woman who was badly injured at a skating rink when her ice skate got stuck in a rut, causing her to fall. We deposed an employee of the skating rink, who admitted that they were understaffed and therefore were not running the Zamboni as frequently as prescribed for safe skating conditions. After hours of continuous use, the surface became uneven and introduced a hazard that caused this client to fall. Langsam Law settled the case for medical compensation, lost time at work, and pain and suffering caused by the injury.

Note: Prior results do not guarantee similar results. 

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