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What amounts to due care by the owner or operator for the safety of invitees depends in any given case not only on the facts and circumstances of the particular case, but on the nature, construction, manner of operation, and the like, of the particular place of amusement, resort, device, or mechanism in suit. The care required is commensurate with the risk involved. Skating rinks are not ordinarily regarded as inherently dangerous or of such unusual nature as to impose on the owner or proprietor of such amusements an unusual degree of care. However, the owner of a skating rink is under an active obligation to guard patrons against risks which might be reasonably anticipated.
Plaintiff invitee fell while skating and alleged the fall was caused by chewing gum negligently permitted to remain on the skating rink floor by defendant corporation. Appellant sustained a fracture to her arm and was taken to a first aid room where defendant officer of corporation attempted to set her arm. Plaintiff and her husband filed suit against defendant corporation for negligence in the operation and conduct of their premises and against defendant officer for assault and battery for unlawfully attempting to set plaintiff's left arm and acting in a capacity for which he had no skill, causing an aggravation of the injury sustained. The trial court dismissed plaintiffs’ action for damages. Plaintiffs appealed.
Did the trial court err in dismissing plaintiffs’ action for damages?
Yes, with respect to the plaintiffs’ claim of assault and battery against defendant officer.
The court reversed the lower court's judgment of dismissal as to the issues raised in plaintiffs' action against defendant officer for assault and battery and remanded the cause for a new trial. The court held that plaintiffs' case should have been submitted to the jury on the question of liability for the alleged assault and battery, the court held that a jury might have found that defendant's conduct constituted an assault and battery upon plaintiff and would have warranted a verdict against him and his employer for consequential damages.