Appellate Ruling in Premises Liability Case Declares That Roller Rink Can Be Sued

In 1991, New Jersey roller skating rinks were granted protection from lawsuits, even when patrons at the rink were not protected from reckless skaters. This anti-consumer statute went unchallenged until Blume Donnelly associate Ken Elwood took a client’s case on appeal.

A man was roller skating with wife and two children in South Amboy in 1992. During a couples-only skating period, he went out with his young daughter to skate slowly around the rink. A rambunctious eight year old boy, skating erratically across the rink, knocked down the man who suffered severe fractures to his leg. He was unable to work for six months.

The trial court judge refused to allow the man to obtain compensation from the rink citing the 1991 Statute. In July the appellate court ruled that the man does have the right to sue the roller rink for its negligence in allowing unsafe skating. Mr. Elwood hopes to bring the case before a jury later this year.