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.
We also argued that to the extent the plaintiff claims her accident was caused by “scratches” in the ice, such scratches were ordinary risks she assumed and neither plaintiff nor her friend could articulate how the scratches contributed to the accident.
We also argued that the landlord should be dismissed since it had no obligation to maintain the surface of the ice nor did it play a role with regard to rink security or regulating the conduct of the skaters.
The decision by Judge Genine D. Edwards dismissed the claims against all defendants on the grounds that plaintiff assumed the risk of being knocked down and on the alternative grounds that the event took place too quickly to hold defendants liable.