Skating rink liability bill rolls through House, Senate committees
Image via Associated Press.

roller skates AP
Tuesday was a good day for the 'Roller Skating Rink Safety Act.'

A bill shifting roller-skating rink liability to skaters rather than rink owners is rolling through legislative committees.

The Senate Judiciary Committee and House Civil Justice Committee each unanimously approved the “Roller Skating Rink Safety Act” (HB 1129, SB 1458), bills sponsored by Jacksonville Sen. Clay Yarborough and Orlando Rep. Susan Plasencia.

That legislation would shift liability burdens in many cases to skaters and patrons rather than management and ownership, with the goal of lowering insurance premiums for owners and operators of the roughly 41 rinks left in the Sunshine State.

What the bill calls “allocation of risks and costs” bears a disproportionate impact on rink owners and operators, preventing the insuring of these operations from being “economically feasible” for carriers. This bill would shift the burden to the consumer, aligning it with similar statutory language covering skateboarding, inline skating, paintball, and freestyle, mountain and off-road bicycling.

Owners “face great difficulty in obtaining liability insurance coverage at an affordable cost and that the lack of affordable insurance coverage affects not only owners of roller-skating rinks, but also persons who may suffer personal injuries or property damages as a result of accidents that occur on the premises of a roller-skating rink,” the bill contends.

Thus, “occurrences resulting in liability to owners should be more predictable by limiting the liability that may be incurred by the owners and encouraging the development and implementation of risk reduction techniques.”

Owners would bear the responsibility of prominently posting at least three signs informing skaters and patrons of their risks, as well as having at least one manager on hand for every 200 customers. They are also charged with keeping the skating surface in a “reasonably safe” condition.

Skaters are responsible for maintaining “reasonable control” of speed and direction, meanwhile, as well as “proper awareness” of potential hazards — including other skaters and inanimate objects.

Florida would join Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas with legislation governing rink liability if this bill becomes law.

Chanel Bellotto, the owner of Lakeland Skate World, spoke on behalf of the Roller Skating Association in both committees. The “third-generation operator” blamed litigation for the decline in rinks in recent years, with insurance premiums up to 40% higher than some other states.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


4 comments

  • St. Augustine Berlusconi Bill McClure

    April 4, 2023 at 9:50 am

    Billy Billy Bam Bam. If you do business with me then your bung hole I will surely cram cram.
    👉🍩

  • Dr. Franklin Waters

    April 4, 2023 at 10:26 am

    What year is this? 1982?

    A skating rink liability rink in 2023, while Floridians are struggling with skyrocking rent, insurance, cost of living, and some of the highest inflation in the country?

    The Florida GOP needs to get a clue.

    • St Augustine Berlusconi Bill McFired

      April 4, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Their cronies are getting rich gambling in the housing market, paying people sht to work, and trading Bitcoin for a living. Why would they lift a finger? Did I mention piss poor pay for police and government workers?

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    April 5, 2023 at 1:33 pm

    Our daily dose of 🤪Far left 🦜🦜frothers 🤣🤣

Comments are closed.


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