Torts Keyed to Goldberg
Smollett v. Skayting Dev. Corp.
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- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
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- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
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- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
On February 1981, Helene Smollett and her husband, Leonard, (collectively, Plaintiffs) went to a fundraiser at a skating rink owned by Skayting Development Corporation (Defendant). The skating area was raised about three to five inches above the surrounding floor space, which was carpeted. The skating area did not contain any guardrails. When Plaintiffs questions Defendant about the lack of guardrails, Defendant responded that the new rinks were regularly built without them as a safety precaution, such as Defendant wanted to avoid the guardrails from becoming loose and collapsing. Around the skating rink were signs, which stated,“skate at your own risk.” Smollett was an experienced skater, so she chose not to take the lesson that the fundraiser was offering. Also, the rink was extremely crowded; however, many of the skaters appeared to be young and/or inexperienced. After Smollett skated for about 90 minutes, on her last lap, a child fell in front of her. To avoid a colliding with the child, Smollett turned off of the rink and onto the carpet, causing her to break wrist. Plaintiffs brought suit against Defendant on the grounds that Defendant was negligent. Defendant asserted a defense, claiming Plaintiffs assumed the risk of injury. The jury found for Smollett, but not her husband. Also, the jury decided that Smollett was 50 percent liable, thus her damages should be reduced under the applicable comparative negligence statute. Following the verdict, Defendants motioned for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, in the alternative, a new trial, and the judge denied the motion. Defendant appealed.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
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