Woman Can’t Sue Over Injuries in Risky Game

     (CN) – A New York woman who claimed she was hurt while playing a bumper-car game cannot prevail on her negligence and product liability claims, a state appeals court ruled on May 1.
     Alice Yargeau was playing a game called Cyber Sport, in which bumper-car drivers scoop up balls with hand-held baskets and shoot them to score points.
     Cyber Sport cars don’t have brakes. They stop when a driver releases the joystick or when a referee presses a signal.
     Yargeau was sitting in her car listening to instructions when she was rammed from behind by another player. All of the cars were supposed to have been disabled due to the referee pressing the signal.
     Yargeau sued Lasertron and LT Joint Ventures Inc., which owned the facility; and Cyber Sport Manufacturing LLC, which manufactured the game. She claimed negligence and product liability.
     The trial court dismissed plaintiff’s lawsuit, and the Rochester-based Fourth Department New York Appellate Division agreed in an unsigned opinion.
     The justices ruled that dismissal of the product liability action was proper because Cyber Sport’s cars were “reasonably safe” and the other defendant’s did not design or manufacture the game.
     “Plaintiffs failed to raise a triable issue because their expert did not identify any violation of a safety standard or deviation from industry standards regarding the signal used by the employees to stop the cars,” they wrote.
     The justices added that Yargeau assumed the risk of injury when she played Cyber Sport.
     “She understood that bumping other cars was a part of Cyber Sport, and she expected it,” they wrote. “Based on this evidence, the court properly determined that the risk of being bumped from behind, even during a stoppage in play, was a risk inherent in the game and that plaintiff assumed that risk.”

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