Court Dismisses Negligence Suit After Finding Curbing Around Miniature Golf Course Hole Is Not Inherently Dangerous and Readily Observable

Mar 30, 2018

Philip Luciani went to a miniature golf course known as Fun Central in Wappinger Falls, N.Y. with his daughter, infant plaintiff I.L., on July 2, 2011. While playing through the course, I.L. tripped as a result of a brick curb surrounding one of the holes, sustaining injuries.
Luciani filed suit against Redl Real Estate, LLC, the owner of the property, and Fun Central, Inc., the tenant at the time of the accident and the operator of the miniature golf course. He asserted that the course was defectively designed and constructed, among other allegations, such that the named defendants were liable for negligence. HRRV represented both defendants during the course of the litigation.
HRRV retained miniature golf course expert Arne Lundmark to conduct an inspection of the course. He did so approximately six years after the accident, although the structural condition of the course was in the same condition as it was on the date of the accident. Lundmark effectively opined that there was nothing defective or dangerous about the curbing in question, and that the course was designed within industry standards.
Based largely on Lundmark’s inspection, as well as the deposition testimony of the parties and photographs of the area in question taken shortly following the accident, HRRV moved for summary judgment, effectively arguing that there was no defect that the defendants could otherwise potentially be held liable for. In opposition, Luciani’s counsel argued that questions of fact existed as to whether the curbing in question was defective, although no expert opinion was submitted on the issue.
HRRV’s motion was ultimately granted by Justice Christine Sproat of Supreme Court, Dutchess County. The judge noted that the photographs revealed no visible defects, and she gave credit to the opinions of Lundmark. She held that “the curbing upon which [the infant plantiff] allegedly fell was not an inherently dangerous condition and was readily observable,” warranting dismissal as a matter of law.
Luciani v. Fun Central Supreme Court, Dutchess County Index No. 2921/2014 August 22, 2017
Carla Varriale and Shawn Schatzle, of HRRV, represented Redl Real Estate, LLC and Fun Central, Inc. Carla Varriale: 646-747-5115 or Shawn Schatzle: 646-747-5124 or


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