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Amusements, Sports and Recreation Liability

Marshall Dennehey's Amusements, Sports and Recreation Practice Group is nationally recognized.  The firm's clients are involved in virtually every aspect of the broad field of amusements, sports and recreation, from theme parks, water parks, and professional sports teams to small carnivals and local skating centers.
Litigators in our practice group have made amusements, sports and recreation a principal focus of their practice for over 20 years.  Our litigators publish and lecture frequently in their areas of concentration and provide commentary in the print and broadcast media on breaking legal stories.  Our involvement in standards development provides us with advance information on emerging standards and legal requirements for our amusement clients.
Our litigation defense attorneys are members of industry, trade and professional organizations including the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the Outdoor Amusement Business Association (OABA), the National Association of Ride Safety Officials (NAARSO), the Ice Skating Institute of America (ISIA), the New Jersey Amusement Association (NJAA), the Pennsylvania Amusement Park Association (PAPA), the World Waterpark Association (WWA), the International Recreational Go-Kart Association (IRGA) and the American Society of Testing and Material (ASTM) F24 Committee on Amusement Rides and Devices.

Many of the lawyers in our group have positions of leadership in the amusement, sports and entertainment industry.

  • Counsel to the New Jersey Amusement Association
  • Member of the IAAPA Government Relations Committee
  • State-licensed soccer coaches
  • Counsel to the International Recreational Go-Kart Association
  • Member of the Risk Management Committee of the Roller Skating Association International
  • Member of the editorial board of Inflatable News Magazine
  • Member of the New Jersey Governor's Commission on Amusement Liability

The Amusements, Sports and Recreation Practice Group is unique in many ways that distinguish us from our peers.

  • An important asset to our litigation defense group has been membership in the International Amusement and Leisure Defense Association, Inc. (IALDA), a network of defense counsel and insurance professionals who concentrate their practices in the sports and entertainment field.  IALDA members communicate confidentially regarding expert witnesses and other defense resources throughout the United States and Canada.
  • Our litigators have played an innovative role in the development of national insurance programs in the amusement industry.  Program administrators have relied on our expertise for drafting risk management guidelines, and designing accident investigation and loss control programs.  Most recently, we served as national counsel to the insurance program endorsed by the Roller Skating Association International.
  • Our amusement industry clients have turned to us for advice on compliance with federal and state laws governing the amusement workplace.  We have advised clients on compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act and developed programs to deal with the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace.

A representative sample of our clients is available upon request.
The Amusements, Sports and Recreation Practice Group serves clients in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, and communities throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Florida and New York.


May 11, 2017
Obtained summary judgment in a skiing collision case, successfully arguing that the plaintiff assumed the risk of his injury by engaging in the sport of downhill skiing. ​The plaintiff, a ski instructor, claimed that while he was skiing on a lower...
May 11, 2017
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a New Jersey roller skating arena. The plaintiff made a claim for injuries from a fall, claiming that his rental skate was the wrong size and too old to be in circulation. He claimed the worn leather was...
Apr 21, 2016
Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a major Orlando theme park following a seven-day jury trial. The plaintiff alleged that he slipped and fell on the handle of an unattended dustpan in the bathroom of a park pavilion. He was subsequently...
Jun 10, 2014
Obtained a defense verdict following arbitration in a case involving a spectator injured at a youth baseball game.  While walking toward the snack stand, the plaintiff was struck on the head by the defendant, a seven-year-old baseball player....
Sep 26, 2011
Attorneys' persuaded the District Court of Appeals to affirm summary judgment entered on behalf of the defendant-owner and operator of a motocross track-on a claim that negligent maintenance and design of a jump on the track caused the plaintiff,...
Sep 8, 2011
Attorneys' obtained a dismissal with prejudice in a lawsuit that garnered international media attention and in which plaintiffs made repeated television appearances, including all three network morning shows. Parents brought suit on behalf of their...
May 16, 2011
Attorney recently obtained a defense verdict in favor of a bowling center in a four-day jury trial. Plaintiff alleged she fell due to an unidentified condition on a bowling lane approach supposedly created by regular lane stripping and oiling...
Aug 2, 2010
Attorney obtainied Summary Judgment on behalf of our roller skating rink client. The plaintiff claimed that he was skating in the carpeted locker area when his skate became caught on a portion of the floor where the carpet had peeled away. He fell...
Jun 28, 2010
Attorneys' were successful in their representation of a bike trail. The attorneys' obtained a summary judgment of no liability when the judge ruled that Plaintiff, a chiropractor and recreational trail bike enthusiast, could not recover for injuries...
Jun 14, 2010
Attorney obtained a defense verdict in which Plaintiff fell from a single step at a darkened concert at a ballroom. As a result, she fractured her ankle and shortly thereafter RSD set in. The trial lasted four and a half days and after 30 minutes...



Law Alerts January 6, 2015
The plaintiff sued for allegedly being assaulted by a uniformed Atlantic City police officer when exiting a nightclub on the premises of Tropicana Hotel and Casino. The nightclub was a tenant of the casino. Tropicana moved for partial summary..., Case Law Alerts, 1st Quarter, January 2015
Law Alerts January 6, 2015
The plaintiff’s claim survived a motion for summary judgment by the city of Margate pursuant to the New Jersey Tort Claims Act. The court found it was foreseeable that a beach access ramp intended for beach vehicles would be used by..., Case Law Alerts, 1st Quarter, January 2015
Defense Digest Article December 1, 2014
By Walter F. Kawalec, III, Esq.* Key Points: In Stelluti v. Casapenn, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that exculpatory provisions in fitness club contracts are enforceable for negligence claims, but not gross negligence or recklessness..., Defense Digest, Vol. 20, No. 4, December 2014 Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide...
Law Alerts October 1, 2014
Two plaintiffs sued Universal Studios when they were denied access to a roller coaster because of their amputations. Summary Judgment was granted to the defendant when it was demonstrated that the restrictions on the ride were pursuant to the..., Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2014
Law Alerts October 1, 2014
Summary judgment was granted to the County of Bergen from a claim of injury due to a fall from a slide. The minor plaintiff’s guardian had an expert to establish the theory that the injury occurred due to a failure to provide adequate ground..., Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2014
Law Alerts October 1, 2014
A campground was sued for a drowning death and filed a third-party complaint against the friend who was swimming with the decedent at the time of the drowning. The third-party complaint was dismissed. The court found that the friendship did not..., Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2014
Law Alerts July 1, 2014
On October 21, 2013, the parents of an eight-year-old girl filed suit for she injuries sustained when playing an electronic game. The parents alleged that the game was violent and the exciting graphics enticed their daughter to play with it. They..., Case Law Alerts, 3rd Quarter, July 2014
Law Alerts July 1, 2014
The plaintiff claimed an aggravation of a pre-existing condition and injuries requiring surgery after a ride held her upside down and pressed her against a harness for 15 minutes. Although the defense stipulated to negligence, the injuries claimed..., Case Law Alerts, 3rd Quarter, July 2014
Law Alerts July 1, 2014
The plaintiff testified at deposition that she did not know why she fell and did not see oil in area where she fell because she was not looking down prior to her fall. Her son, who was with her, stated at deposition that he saw “a lot of oil..., Case Law Alerts, 3rd Quarter, July 2014


Mar 12, 2014
This webinar will highlight a new way to review you current park signs, assess their current value, and what to do for facility signage for this upcoming season.  IALDA attorney Lary Zucker will give specific examples of facility signage...
Conference Feb 18, 2015
Attorney Lary Zucker will be speaking at the New Jersey Amusement Association's annual conference in Atlantic City.......the trade show to keep you connected to the amusement industry in the Tri-State Area! 2015 NJAA 20th Annual East Coast...


Lary I. Zucker
Chair, Amusements, Sports and Recreation Practice Group
(856) 414-6001

Additional Contacts

Alicia M. Smith
(856) 414-6072

Related Practice Areas

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