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Skater Assumes Risk of Falling But Rink May Have Duty to Control Kind of Skates Rented
Description Novice skater who fell and broke ankle assumed the risk of falling by skating at a rink, but there is a question of fact to be determined at trial if the rink violated its duty of care to patrons by not discriminating among patrons in the kind of skates it rented them.
Topic Torts
Key Words Negligence, Duty of Care, Assumption of Risk
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Carter, who had not skated for 20 years, went to a staking rink, rented skates, skated, fell and broke his ankle. He sued the rink for negligence for renting him skates that were not appropriate to an inexperienced skater. Rink asserted that Carter assumed the risk inherent in skating and that it rented everyone the same kind of skates. Trial court dismissed the suit. Carter appealed.
Decision Reversed. There is a genuine issue of material fact regarding the type of skates that were provided as to whether they were suitable for Carter's skill level, even if the rink only rented one kind of skate. There is a question of fact whether the kind of skates rented were, in fact, only suitable for more experienced skaters. The rink has no duty to protect skaters from falling while skating, since that risk is inherent, but the rink has a duty not to negligently supply a novice with skates not suited to his skill level.
Citation Carter v. Holiday Ice Skating Center, ---Cal.Rptr.2d--- (1998 WL 719925, Ct. App., Calif.)
78 Cal.Rptr.2d 874 (Ct. App., Calif., 1998)

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