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Alleged negligent failure of bowling alley to adequately warn that area beyond foul line is very slippery - Patella Fracture.

Morris County

The 48-year-old plaintiff contended that the defendant bowling alley negligently failed to adequately warn that the area beyond the foul line, onto which oil was spread, was highly slippery. The plaintiff contended that as a result, she slipped and fell when she ventured approximately five feet beyond the foul line when bowling a ball down the lane. The plaintiff established that the only sign advising patrons to avoid venturing beyond the foul line was near the cash register.

The plaintiff argued that it was doubtful that patrons would realize that this area was more slippery than the approach and that signs in the area of the lanes should have been posted. The plaintiff maintained that she suffered a fractured patella that required surgery. The plaintiff maintained that traumatic arthritis has developed and that she will permanently suffer significant pain.

The defendant denied that additional signs were necessary. The defendant maintained that it was reasonable to believe that patrons would realize that the bowling lane would tend to be more slippery beyond the line even if they did not realize that this area was oiled. The defendant made an analogy to an individual becoming tired after eating turkey, contending that they would be very likely to recognize that turkey would be likely to cause them to become sleepy irrespective of whether they knew the cause was tryptophane.

A children’s birthday party was taking place on other lanes. The defendant further maintained that audio warnings advising children to avoid walking beyond the lines were being played over the PA system periodically. The plaintiff and her companions denied hearing such advisements.

The jury found for the defendant.

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