WRGB Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Senator proposes bowling shoe legislation

ALBANY - An Erie County State Senator wants to protect the rights of bowling alley owners by passing a law to keep bowling shoes dry.

Senator Patrick Gallivan, R- Elma, recently introduced legislation that would take away the right of people to sue a bowling alley if they wear their shoes outside the lanes and then fall inside.

Gallivan says there are a bunch of frivolous lawsuits from people who do not follow the rules of the bowling alley.

"At first it sounds foolish but when you look at the frivolous lawsuits in our society, when you look at the fact New York State has twice as many lawsuits on average than the rest of the country, this is just one small thing that can help cut down on the lawsuits (and) cut down on cost of business and ultimately cut down on the cost of bowling for the consumer," Gallivan said.

According to the senator the lawsuits are driving up the costs of liability insurance on the owners of bowling alleys. Gallivan said he was elected to represent all his constituents and that includes bowlers.

However, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association disagrees with the suit, saying it takes away rights.

"Protecting the right to access justice is central to our mission as guardians of the civil justice system," said NYSTLA President Michael Jaffe. "We cannot support any legislation that undercuts the constitutional right to a trial by a jury."

The bill currently sits in a senate committee and has assembly sponsorship. Gallivan hopes it will pass this session.