New York’s highest court has ruled that a golfer need not yell “fore” before hitting the ball. See Anand v. Kapoor.
The Court of Appeals ruled that the injured golfer had no case in that he assumed the risks of the game.
Dr. Anand was playing with fellow doctors at a Long Island golf course. While playing his ball from the rough on the first hole, Dr. Kapoor shanked a shot that hit Dr. Anand in the right eye. A shank is a shot that flies off the club almost perpendicularly to the traget, i.e., straight to the right for a right-handed player such as Dr. Kapoor.
Dr. Anand was 15-20 feet away. Dr. Anand yelled a warning after making the shot. The shot detached Dr. Anand’s retina and resulted in total blindness in that eye. Dr. Kapoor did not give a warning shout of “fore” before hitting the ball.
The Court of Appeals dismissed the case. It ruled that Dr. Anand assumed the risks of the game, i.e., getting hit by a errant ball. There was no proof that there was either reckless or intentional conduct by the golfer which would create liability.
This decision conforms with other court decisions involving injuries during sports. Generally, the courts view sports injuries as a known and assumed risk. An injured player would not have a case unless there was either gross negligence or intentional conduct.
However, where the participant is injured from a defective playing field or malfunctioning equipment, there may be a case. We have obtained recoveries for injuries due to a negligently maintained indoor hockey field and a poorly maintained New York City football field. There may be a recovery in those cases.
If you have been injured in a sports accident, please feel free to call us at 800-581-1434 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark E. Seitelman, 12/24/10, www.seitelman.com.