Sports & Recreation Expert Witness Testifies On Skating Head Injuries

Fracturing her skull and suffering permanent disabilities while ice skating, a patron of the Ice House Skating Rink in Carey, NC, filed a liability suit against the rink. The expert witness in her case testified that the skating rink should have had an employee patrolling the ice to stop unruly skaters and post signs warning against horseplay. The sports and recreation expert witness said the Ice House was negligent in not having a rink guard on the ice surface as required by the Ice Skating Institute of America. However also reports:

Upon a motion made by lawyers for the Ice House Skating Rink, the trial judge dismissed the case without allowing a jury to rule on whether the Ice House was liable to the patron for her injuries. Because of her head injuries, the injured customer has no memory of the fall and could not locate any witnesses who saw the accident. However, her family members testified that a boy told the clamant that he was sorry shortly after the accident. In holding that the claimant’s evidence was not sufficient, the Court of Appeals wrote: “Given the lack of information about how plaintiff fell, the current record is devoid of evidence that supports an inference that a rink guard could have prevented the fall. Accordingly, the statement by teenage boy does not establish that an act or omission by defendant caused the plaintiff’s damages.”

This case demonstrates the difficulty of proving liability when there are no eyewitnesses to the occurrence in question.