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This Used to be my Playground (NY)

September 19, 2019

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The Fall of 2019 has seen multiple decisions denying relief to plaintiffs who sued the owners and operators of modern playgrounds.  The latest decision comes from the Second Department in <a href="">I.S. v. City of New York (2d Dept.</a><em>  </em>In that case, the plaintiff was a second-grade public school student who injured herself after falling from a set of monkey bars.  According to the plaintiff, the City was negligent because it allowed her to use the monkey bars while they were wet and the rubber matting under the apparatus was defective.

In its summary judgment motion, the City provided weather records showing minimal precipitation that day after the alleged incident and noted the lack of any evidence of a defect in the rubber matting.  For these reasons, and because the plaintiff failed to testify that the bars were wet, the trial court granted the City’s motion for summary judgment.  In affirming the decision, the Second Department reasoned that the City had established a prima facie case that the playground was not defective and that a lack of supervision was not the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. The <em>I.S.</em> decision is the latest example of a court refusing to go overboard in assigning liability to playground owners for risks inherent in a playground.   Thanks to Mike Gauvin for his contribution to this post, and to Madonna for the title.  Please email <a href="">Brian Gibbons</a> with any questions.


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