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State Bill Attempts to Limit Slip-and-Fall Suits Against Bowling Alley Owners

New York State trial lawyers, lawyers who specialize in representing injured accident victims, are opposing a bill introduced on the New York State legislature meant to help bowling alley owners. It seems likely, at the early stages of this legislation, that the attorneys will win and the bowling alley owners will lose.

If passed, this law would remove liability from bowling alley owners so that those who fall while wearing their bowling shoes outside could not file lawsuits, as long as warning signs are posted.

State Sen. Patrick Gallivan, a Republican representing a Buffalo district, said there has been an increase in lawsuits over the past ten years, likely because of bowlers who are also smokers. Because there is no smoking inside, bowlers congregate outside with their bowling shoes still on. The lawyers association opposes the bill, and this organization has much influence on the Democratic-majority Assembly.

Slip and fall cases are quite common. Pedestrians slip and fall from a variety of defects such as cracked and broken sidewalks, debris on the premises left from negligent clean-up and wet and negligently maintained stairs. There are two ways that a plaintiff can prevail in a slip and fall lawsuit; either the plaintiff gave notice of the defect to the defendant and he/she failed to rectify the defect or the defendant caused and created the defect. The defense to either scenario is similar; essentially, that the plaintiff should have been looking down and could have avoided the defect/condition.

Categories: Premises Liability


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