Pardalis & Nohavicka Law Of Indoor Rock Climbing Update: Injured Indoor-Alpinist Suit Against Brooklyn Boulders Allowed to Go Forward
Schurman Rock in Seattle, is believed to be the first artificial climbing structure in the United States, constructed in 1939. Today, there are over 3,000 climbing facilities world-wide.
Recently in New York City, Jennifer was at Brooklyn Boulders rock climbing facility when she dropped down from a climbing wall and her foot landed in a gap between two mats. The gap, according to Jennifer, was hidden by a piece of velcro. Jennifer was hurt. Jennifer sued. The climbing facility asked the court to dismiss the case arguing that Jennifer had signed a release of liability form and because she was engaging in a dangerous recreational activity and she assumed that risk.
The court did NOT agree. First, the release of liability that Jennifer signed was void under New York Law because the facility is recreational in nature. Therefore, the release had no effect. Second, you cannot assume a risk that is concealed. And whether the gap in the mats constituted a concealed risk, in this case, is a question that a jury must decide.
Jennifer’s case will go to trial.
Here is the case: Lee v Brooklyn Boulders, LLC