On July 7, 2021, a New York State appellate court covering appeals from Kings County Supreme Court agreed that an experienced roller skater at the Pier 2 Roller Ring at Brooklyn Bridge Park could not sue for injuries suffered when she tripped over an uneven portion of the wooden rink floor. This 30 year old woman sustained a left wrist/distal radius fracture which required an open reduction and internal fixation to treat her injury and she will likely develop permanent traumatic arthritis.
The general manager of the rink explained that the spot where the plaintiff fell periodically buckled due to an expansion joint in the pier beneath the rink which was designed to expand and contract to avoid cracking. On the day in question the rink followed its customary practice of placing a single orange cone in the area to warn skaters away. The plaintiff agreed she saw the orange warning cone at the impending accident site multiple times but at the time of her accident she was skating backwards and didn't see the orange cone.
The appeals court explained: "Under the doctrine of primary assumption of risk, a voluntary participant in a sporting or recreational activity consents to those commonly appreciated risks that are inherent in and arise out of the nature of the sport generally and flow from such participation.... This includes risks associated with the construction of the playing surface and any open and obvious conditions on it, including less than optimal conditions." The only way around the strict application of this rule is when the defendant conceals the unsafe condition or unreasonably increases the risk by placing a warning sign or cone. Goulet v Pier 2 Roller Ring at Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2021 WL 2816691