Archive for the ‘Rhode Island’ Category

And the Runner is Out – Claim By Spectator at a Little League Game Barred by Recreational Use Statute (RI)

May 11, 2015

Carlson v. Town of South Kingston (Rhode Island)

The plaintiff was attending her son’s little league game being played at a park and field owned and maintained by the defendant town.  As she was walking from a batting cage area over to a concession stand to meet her son, she stepped in a “divot” and broke her leg.  Testimony established that the “divot” was created by kids waiting to get into the batting cages when they would dig their cleats into the ground.  Plaintiff filed an action against the town, alleging the town negligently maintained the premises.  The town moved for summary judgment based on Rhode Island’s Recreational Use Statute (“RUS”).  Plaintiff objected to the motion citing two exceptions to the RUS and alleging: (1) the town had “willfully or maliciously failed to guard or warn against a dangerous condition on the land,” and (2) the town had charged plaintiff for her access to the park.  The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.


Break a Leg

June 20, 2007

 Rachal v. O’Neil (Rhode Island)
(12 Year Old Breaks Leg at Skatepark; Statute of Limitations Tolled; Motion for Summary Judgment Procedurally Premature)

A 12 year old boy fractured his leg while dropping into a half pipe at an indoor skate park.  Nearly two years after the incident, the minor’s parents filed a lawsuit against the skate park and the property owner.  More than a year later, the parents sought to amend the complaint to add a corporate defendant and substitute an insurer for an individual defendant who had filed for bankruptcy.  The amended complaint also added two causes of action.  The motion to amend was denied based on the expiration of the statute of limitations despite a statute tolling the statute of limitation for a minor until the minor reaches the age of 18.  Alternatively, the court granted the defendants motion for summary judmgent based upon the doctrine of assumption of the risk.  The parents appealed those decisions.