Today, The Buffalo News shared a letter written by LRANY Executive Director, Tom Stebbins, titled: Frivolous Lawsuits No Laughing Matter. This letter explains the impact of a case which was recently decided against the town of Amherst, its associated municipalities and a home owner that made an exception for the inherent risk sport of rollerblading. In New York, municipalities are far too often sued because of their deep pockets, and thanks to a New York law that can force them to pay 100 percent of a judgment even if they are only 1 percent responsible.
“It is becoming clear that our legal system has lost its way. Consider the recent case of Custodi v. Amherst; in this case, which was recently decided by the highest court in the state, a roller blader injured herself after she caught her skate on the lip between a driveway and the street and fell. She promptly sued the homeowners, the Town of Amherst, the Highway Department, Erie County, the Village of Williamsville and the Department of Public Works for her injuries.
The Supreme Court of New York initially rejected her claim, agreeing with the defendants that roller blading is an inherently risky activity and that roller bladers knowingly accept this risk. Sadly, the Court of Appeals overturned that decision, holding the Town of Amherst and the private homeowners liable for her injuries.”