Accidents in Sports

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Q: Tom is a member of the high school varsity softball team.  When Tom slid into home plate, his left foot got stuck in the mud.  It had rained heavily the day before the game.  Tom had seen the mud area prior to the accident.

While playing basketball at the gym, Dick ran at a fast pace and jumped to block a lay-up.  As he did so, his right arm went through – and shattered – a pane of glass in one of the entrance doors.  It was situated nearby the baseline.

Harriette was conducting a personal training session.  A swimmer in the same lane struck the back of Harriette’s knee with his foot – while turning to head in the opposite direction.

Toni’s school offers voluntary extracurricular athletic activities.  While roller skating, Toni lost her balance and fell.

At a fitness center, Tina was participating in a first step-aerobics class.  Underneath her step platform, there were far more risers than Tina would have imagined.  Tina lost her footing and fell.

A: Pursuant to the doctrine of primary assumption of risk, a voluntary participant in a sporting event consents to those commonly appreciated risks that are inherent in and arise out of the nature of the sport generally and flow from such participation.  The doctrine is based on the principle that athletic and recreational activities possess enormous social value, even though they involve significantly heightened risks.

Although an entity sponsoring a sporting activity is under a duty of ordinary reasonable care – to protect the participant from an unusual, concealed or unreasonably augmented risk – the participant assumes the obvious and inherent risks.  Tina appears to have a strong case, and Dick’s case may well be strong.  In all these cases, the victim should consult an attorney.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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