I’ve now done a second post in Common Good’s symposium on education and fear of liability. Among the topics I discuss: assumption of risk, statutes of limitations, sovereign immunity, and the need for some more organized way of advocating the interests of public service entities against excessive or impractical liability demands. You can read it here.
My new post at Cato at Liberty, following on a theme pursued by NYT science writer John Tierney, looks at some of the risks of trying to make children’s play too safe. More: UK Telegraph (“Health and safety fears are taking the joy out of playtime.”); Lenore Skenazy, Free-Range Kids.
Yet another lawsuit against a Manhattan bar filed by a patron who fell off its mechanical bull [New York Post]
The best-known operator of British amusement parks has ordered its staff “to ban anyone found guilty of bumping into each other in the electric cars equipped with huge bumpers. Bemused customers who assume that the ‘no bumping sign’ is in jest are told to drive around slowly in circles rather than crash into anyone else for fear of an injury that could result in the resort being sued.” [Louise Gray, Telegraph via Free-Range Kids]
Also: California appellate court rejects assumption of risk defense and denies summary judgment to bumper car injury claim [Bill Childs, MassTort.org]
“The suit [by a Florida man against the Winn-Dixie supermarket chain and a flower importer] states the roses should have been stripped of their thorns and the stems should have been wrapped more carefully.” [UPI]
A proposed Hawaii law would assign liability to guidebook writers for some injuries at risky tourist sites [WSJ]
“In a brief opinion released today, the New York Court of Appeals agreed with lower courts that a golfer hit by an ‘errant’ shot could not sue his co-golfer for negligence, because one who chooses to golf assumes the risk of being whacked by a golf ball.” [Lowering the Bar, AP, earlier]
“I guess you know your date didn’t go very well when you get sued afterward.” [Lowering the Bar; Stanislav v. Papp] Per the New York appellate court’s statement of facts:
Plaintiff was injured when she fell off a horse while on a date with defendant. She alleges that defendant was negligent in failing to properly warn her and appreciate her limited level of skill as a rider, and in failing to pay proper attention to her request that the horses proceed at a slow pace in a careful manner.
The judges, however, upheld a lower court’s dismissal of the case (citations omitted):
Plaintiff has provided no evidence or authority which supports her contention that defendant owed her a duty to insure that the horseback riding experience was safe. As a person with experience riding horses, plaintiff was aware that the risks of falling from a horse or a horse acting in an unintended manner are inherent in the sport. Defendant’s conduct was not so unique or reckless as to create an additional unanticipated risk for plaintiff.
Two doctors, frequent golf partners, were playing a round together when one was struck in the face at close range by the other’s ball. Lower courts dismissed the resulting case, which is now on appeal. [Lowering the Bar, WSJ Law Blog] Plus: WLF (“this is not a lawyer or doctor joke.”)
Prince George’s County, Maryland: “The jury found that the tournament organizer, Baseball Players Association, built the pitcher’s mound too big and too deep.” [Ron Miller]
And then sues would-be suicide over foot injury sustained in the jump. The unusual case reached an Illinois appellate court last year, which ruled that a suit could proceed against the would-be suicide, though not his wife, who had also been named as a defendant on the grounds that she had requested the plaintiff’s help. [Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog]
“Slo-pitch player sues field owner after being struck by ball” reads the headline of the Globe and Mail’s story from Hamilton, Ontario. A judge is allowing the suit to go forward, noting “that diamond officials had talked about putting up sun screens at the field.”
She “was taking pictures on the railroad tracks in Tupelo in 2006″ and things didn’t end happily. Now her lawsuit says the train was going too fast and that the BNSF Railway Company “should have posted trespassing signs to keep people away.” People like her, that is. [AP/Jackson Clarion Ledger]