Bowling Alley Strikes Out In Its Attempt To Be Spared Liability (NY)

Plaintiff’s emanated from a slip and fall at the defendant’s bowling alley in Clifton Park New York. Ms. Muscato alleges she slipped and fell causing her injuries because the floor near the ball return was excessively slippery.

In defending the action and moving for summary judgment, the bowling alley offered the testimony of its manager who stated they neither created the slippery condition nor had notice of it. The manager offered testimony concerning general cleaning and inspection, however, the bowling alley did not answer what was specifically done on the date in question. The court reiterated precedent which states the testimony as to general cleaning and inspection practices are not sufficient to show lack of constructive notice of that dangerous condition.  The alley also argued that plaintiff was unable to identify the cause of her fall, however witnesses testified that the floor in that ball return area was unusually or excessively slippery and that despite not knowing exactly what caused the plaintiff to fall, she offered enough circumstantial evidence from which negligence can reasonably be inferred. The court noted that plaintiffs claim can be deduced from defendants’ practice of moving its oiling machine from lane to lane near the ball return area. As such, the bowling alley was not spared liability.

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