How Smoking Ban Increases Bowling Shoes Lawsuits

Bowlers go outside to smoke, then fall; but New York state is on the case

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 24, 2013 12:52 PM CDT

(Newser) – It has to be the granddaddy of unintended effects of New York state's 10-year-old ban on indoor smoking: more lawsuits from clumsy bowlers. As the Albany Times-Union explains, bowling centers have seen a spike in lawsuits in recent years from bowlers who step outside for a smoke while wearing their bowling shoes. Because the shoes aren't exactly made for that kind of thing, the bowlers tend to fall down a lot and hurt themselves.

Solution: A state lawmaker has introduced a measure requiring that bowling centers put up signs warning that bowling shoes worn outside can be hazardous to your health, a move that would shield them from lawsuits. While that doesn't seem especially controversial, the bill is hung up thanks to objections from the state Trial Lawyers Association. "We cannot support any legislation that undercuts the constitutional right to a trial by a jury," says the group.

  (Shutterstock)
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