Partner, Denise Fontana Ricci, obtained summary judgment in Deska v. Wildcat Wrestling Club, a personal injury lawsuit in which a spectator at a wrestling match allegedly fell due to water on a gym floor from melted snow. The central issue in the case was whether the New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act precluded the plaintiff ’s claim as the Wildcat Wrestling Club fell under the Act’s protections and all negligence claims were barred.
In a creative attempt to escape this immunity, the plaintiff argued that the Club had been grossly negligent in holding the match on a night when it snowed – as gross negligence would overcome the statutory immunity. In opposition, we argued that although the plaintiff asserted that the snowstorm on the night of the match was a nor’easter or blizzard, historical data dispelled this account. We therefore argued that under the facts presented, there simply was no evidence to support a claim of gross negligence based upon a failure to cancel the match for mere snow. The trial court agreed and granted our motion.