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Assumption of Risk

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The doctrine of primary assumption of the risk bars liability for injuries caused by a negligent surfer to a fellow surfer because those injuries were caused by risks inherent in the sport of surfing.  Wipe-outs are common as are injuries from collisions with other surfers or their surf boards.  Surfers often violate unwritten rules of etiquette governing surfing and surf… Read More

A written waiver or release of future negligence claims or assumption of the risk in order to participate in recreational activities is enforceable.  Here, a high school required its football team players to sign such a release.  It barred plaintiff's claim for negligence in failing to diagnose the concussion he suffered playing football which led to serious brain damage.  Plaintiff… Read More

A hiker on a trail in a public park's optional-leash area for dogs did not assume the risk that she would be injured by another hiker's unleashed dog.  The park's rules for the area required unleashed dogs to be under their owners' control at all times and created a presumption that the dog was not under the owner's control if… Read More

The primary assumption of the risk didn't shield a youth water polo league from liability for repeat concussions suffered by a goalie due to the league's failure to promulgate concussion management and return to play protocols, which resulted in goalie being returned to play while already concussed and suffering further injury.  Read More

Summary judgment for promoters of a half-marathon race is reversed; though the race’s release form was enforceable, it could not waive liability for gross negligence, and a triable issue of fact existed as to whether the promoters were grossly negligent in failing to provide adequate emergency medical care at the finish line. Read More

The question of which risks are inherent in a recreational activity, here, dirt biking, is fact-intensive but, on a sufficient record, may be resolved on summary judgment. Read More

Because hot air balloon operators are not common carriers, they can take advantage of the primary assumption of the risk doctrine and thus owe no duty of care as to risks inherent in the sport or activity of hot air ballooning—even if an injury is caused by pilot error in failing to adjust altitude properly to account for cross-winds.   Read More

Plaintiff, a rider in an endurance horse race who was injured when defendant’s horse bolted after being kicked by a tailgating horse, could not recover in negligence action because she had assumed the risk; horse tailgating and its dangerous aftermath are a normal part of that sport.   Read More

The doctrine of primary assumption of the risk barred suit for injuries sustained by a skateboarder who was riding the skateboard down a hill on the wrong side of a city street without a helmet on and hit a gap in the pavement.  Read More