If I got injured at a movie theater because it did not have its lights on, what are my rights?

UPDATED: Oct 19, 2011

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If I got injured at a movie theater because it did not have its lights on, what are my rights?

I fell on steps at movie a theatre causing a not too common foot break. The movie was over but there was still half of the moviegoers who had yet to leave. Still the lights were already out.   

Asked on October 19, 2011 under Personal Injury, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You probably cannot sue, unfortunately. The problem is, people are generally considered to have assumed the common risks associated with activities they voluntarily agree to do. That is, they can't sue for the injuries arising out of common risks in that activity. For example, a skier can't normally sue the slope because he fell and broke his leg--that's a common risk of skiiing. Similarly, walking up or down stairs in the dark is a common "risk" of going to a movie theatre. Furthermore, even if you could get past this hurdle, you'd have to show:

1) The theatre was too dark to allow you to see the steps (e.g. no stair, exit, emergency, etc. lighting)

2) The fall was due to the lack of light (e.g. you weren't pushed; weren't rushing for the exit; etc.)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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