Liability for Ice Skating Rink Operators

While no one wants to get injured while skating, there are cases where accidents occur due to factors beyond skaters' control. Negligence on the part of ice skating rink operators can easily lead to an accident. Below are some examples of operators' negligent acts that can trigger skaters' accidents.

Poor Maintenance

Just like other players in the leisure and entertainment industry, skating rink operators are expected to maintain their premises and products. Maintenance issues that cause injuries lead to operator liability. For example, if worn-out railings fail to protect a skater, the operator may be liable for the ensuing damages.

Inadequate Inspection

Skating rinks should have floor guards to ensure everyone follows the rules. The guards should also be well trained so that they understand all the applicable rules and what to do in case something goes awry. Higher capacity rinks require more guards than lower capacity rinks; government regulations determine the exact ratio. Therefore, if something goes wrong in an understaffed rink and it turns out that more guards would have prevented the accident, then the operators will be on the hook for the accident.

Inadequate Lighting

Inadequate lighting raises the risk of injury on many premises, including skating rinks. Even though the lights (on the skating surface) will be off during special numbers, the exits and other service areas should remain well lit. Otherwise, the poor lighting might cause an accident for which the operators will be liable.

Alcohol Allowance

Skating is an inherently dangerous activity that requires good judgment, vision, and balance. Alcohol can impair all these things. This is why most places prohibit the use or sale of alcohol on skating rinks. Rink operators are responsible for enforcing these alcohol rules, just like they are responsible for enforcing other rules and regulations. Therefore, any rink management that looks the other way when their patrons use alcohol becomes responsible for any accidents stemming from alcohol intoxication.

Inadequate Warning

All skating rinks have rules and regulations that everyone, from skaters to operators, must follow. Operators should not assume that all prospective skaters understand these rules. Rather, the operators should post written warnings of these rules in conspicuous places. Otherwise, a skater might get injured and hold the operator liable for their damages due to inadequate warning.

Hopefully, you won't be dealing with such accidents any time soon. If you or a loved one does get injured at a skating rink, however, you deserve compensation if the accident is as a result of another person's negligence. Consult a personal injury attorney to review your case and advise you on the way forward.