A week ago, my buddies and I went to the arcade and took turns on the arm wrestling machine. When it was my turn to try (I was second), my humerus snapped.
I'm a 24 years old male and very fit. I go to the gym 2-3 per week. And I follow a strict diet. Therefore, health is not the cause of the injury.
I've been researching a lot and found out it is very common to break the humerus bone in arm wrestling. This is usually due to the wrong techniques used by inexperienced arm wrestlers.
My question is can I sue the arm wrestling machine manufacturer for not showing the players the proper techniques to arm wrestle without getting injured? There are so many healthy people out there, but they cannot expect everyone to know the right techniques to arm wrestle.
You may have a claim against the manufacturer for failure to warn and perhaps a defective product. Thus, you'd want to retain a lawyer and get the compensation that you are entitled to.
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I agree, you may have a good cause of action. You would need to speak with an attorney who specializes in products liability. Assumption of risk would be a difficult defense, seeing that people usually don't break their arms playing arcades.
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The arcade is in the business of providing entertainment, not breaking people's arms. Unless you were engaged in some sort of "horseplay" you may have a viable claim. The only way to know is to obtain an consultation with a products liability attorney.
Sorry. I disagree with my colleagues. You assumed the risk if injury; unless the machine malfunctioned or did not "perform" properly. Even if you have a claim, manufacturers defend these claims vigorously. Speak with an attorney who specializes in products claims and good luck.
Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff www.nyelderinjurylaw.com
I tend to agree with Mr. Adams, who is the only one of the attorneys answering your question admitted in New York State. New York has a very strong "assumption of the risk" rule. It applies in all types of situations, many of which make no sense at all. You engaged in a competition (of sorts) and assumed the risk of that competition and bore the risk of injury. If you were arm-wrestling an individual and lost, there is no question that you could not recover in NY State.
Now with that said, you do not assume the risk of injury caused by mechanical malfunction or an improper setting on the machine. To prove this type of case, your attorney would need to hire an engineer to evaluate the equipment and reach a conclusion favorable to you.
My guess is that you will find someone to take this case, because frankly a lot of lawyers just don't know the law of assumption of the risk, but the attorney because of your size of your injury will be unwilling to hire the engineer necessary to prove that you were injured by a defective product. If you do interview lawyers, make sure they understand and its in writing that you want the case pursued as a defective product case. It may not survive an assumption of the risk motion, but it is your only shot.
If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Stewart & Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email - [email protected]
Based on the limited information you gave, the answer to your question lies in a comparison of "legalities" and "realities". Legally, if you can prove that the machine's settings were designed at an unreasonably unsafe setting, or that it was not operating to manufacture specifications or design (ie- the setting for the force of the arm movement by the machine was to strong or high), then you could have a basis to pursue a products liability claim against the manufacturer, if you can show that the settings on the machine were that way when it left the manufacturer. Alternatively, you would have a claim against the arcade for failing to maintain the machine to proper manufacturer's settings. From a negligence theory, you would be facing an "assumption of the risk" claim and I personally don't believe that a claim that the manufacture failed to provide proper or sufficient instructions as to how to arm wrestle would be successful even if a "failure to warn" is technically a viable cause of action. From a realistic point of view, and as already noted by others, product liability claims are scientific and/or technical in nature and are, therefore, very expensive to litigate. An engineer would be needed to investigate and analyse force and stress factors, and possibly an additional expert in the manufacture and design of similar arcade machines to establish industry standards. Additionally, it would be necessary to establish what the machine's settings were as of the date of the accident, which might be problematical even if the machine is still available for inspection particularly depending on how much time has passed until the examination is actually performed. If your fractured humerus was conservatively treated, and there are minimal or no residual affects, the cost for litigating such a case could not make it realistically worth your time to prosecute. Good Luck.
Jeffrey I. Schwimmer, Esq.
20 Vesey Street - Suite 1200
New York, NY 10007
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