The Zip Line

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Q: My friend had installed a zip line between two trees.  The seat failed to brake, so I put my feet out in front of me until they hit the end tree – and I was thrown backwards, off the seat and onto a boulder on the ground.

A: A participant in an athletic or recreational activity assumes known risks and relieves the defendant of any duty to safeguard him from those risks.  However, a participant only consents to those commonly appreciated risks which are inherent in and arise out of the nature of the sport generally and flow from such participation – not concealed or unreasonably increased risks.

Whether you were aware of the risk is crucial to determining whether you assumed it, and this can only be assessed against the background of your particular skill and experience.

The malfunctioning brake clearly enhanced the danger of the zip line.  You did not assume the risk of a non-working brake.  Had you merely lost your grip and fallen off the seat while riding the zip line, you would be barred from recovery because that is an inherent risk of zip-lining.  However, your claim is that the zip line was negligently constructed by your friend and that you had no way of knowing that.

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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