I was bowling with my family and boyfriend on May 3rd for a Humane Society fundraiser. My mom noticed the lanes were sticky, and she kept having issues with her feet getting stuck while she went up to the lane. I spoke with a gentleman at the front desk about the issue of sticky lanes. He said that it was the humidity. I said okay, and left it at that. A few minutes later, antoher gentleman came down to our lane, said he heard we had a concern with sticky lanes, and wiped them down with rubbing alcohol (or something that looked really close to it). I was the next person up to bowl after he wiped down the lanes. I do not know if I slipped, or got stuck, but I feel down...HARD. I landed on my knees, and my body twisted as I also landed on my right shoulder (while still having a 14 pound ball in my hand with the momentum of throwing it down the lane). My shoulder hurt horribly the next day (and hasn't felt better since). I went to the Urgent Care Center on May 4th (a day after it happened). The doctor did some x-rays on my shoulder and determined that it was not broke but was sprained really bad. I had a significant loss of motion in my arm. It still hurts horribly today (May 15th) and I still cannot move it certain ways without a horrible pain shooting down my arm which brings me to tears. My primary care doctor has referred me to a pain clinic for my shoulder, which I am still waiting for the approval process to be completed. I'm not sure if I have a case, or not, as I do not know what the liability of a bowling alley really is.
2 Answers from Attorneys
You have alot of issues here. I believe the viability of your potential case will turn on who the "man" was who applied the substance to the lane or if the bowling alley had notice or created the danger by allowing this man to apply the clear dangerous substance. Also, there is a Michigan Statute that gives the bowling alley immunity as long as they post a notice stating the danger of wearing bowling shoes outside and then coming back in to bowl. The policy being by wearing the shoes outside you may pick up moisture, sticky substances, etc. outside of the bowling alley and bring the danger inside the alley (basically creating the danger to yourself). I would be happy to discuss this matter with you in more detail. Contact me for a free case evaluation.
In addition to what the other lawyer stated, these are difficult cases. An expert would have to be retained and would have to explain why the surface was unreasonably dangerous. Since the case would involved expenditure of a large sum of money, the potential verdict would have to merit the investment. I would suggest that you go to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulders for a definitive diagnosis. Your injury may not be of sufficient severity to go forward unless there is an internal tear that requires surgery. In that case, it would most likely be beneficial to go to an experienced injury lawyer to discuss the case. Call me if you wish to discuss this matter further.