Catch Football

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Q: One summer day, another kid and I went to the playground, just as we had many times in the past. We were throwing a football back-and-forth. Next to the playground was a concrete sidewalk. The edge of it was raised, cracked and uneven; it had been that way for years. While running, I tripped at this edge. Between two slabs, there was a gap of at least an inch.

A: It sounds like you ought to have been well aware of the obvious risk of playing next to this sidewalk, and were also familiar with the risks inherent in the sport of football in general, such as the risk of falling while running to catch a ball. Under our law, there is no duty upon the city to post guards at the park to channel the forms of play. In a world of limited tax revenue, where conditions are less than ideal, a city are not forbidden from having a playground along a cracked sidewalk. The courts have reasoned that the alternatives are even worse. Like it or not, the legal thinking is that parents in the neighborhood are, or should be, well aware of the conditions under which their children play. If the parents permit the children to play there, then so be it. The city has not undertaken to keep the children safe; it has merely given them permission to use at the park as they find it, to play in it as they would play anywhere else by themselves. Unless your lawyer can uncover a detail you haven’t mentioned, the court is likely to rule that the risk was not such that the city can be held liable: it was a natural risk that was required to be borne by you.

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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