Lambert’s Cafe, based in Sikeston, Missouri, bills itself as the “Home of Throwed Rolls” because of its famous practice of having servers toss dinner rolls to customers. It’s now being sued for guess what [WDAF, RiverFront Times] Last year the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in favor of a plaintiff claiming injury from a hot dog thrown by a mascot at a Kansas City Royals game, overturning a lower court which had instructed jurors that they were free to find hot-dog-flinging a risk known to occur at Royals games for purposes of an assumption of risk defense. More: Lowering the Bar and (thanks for link) Fox News.
“Defendants improperly used a ‘sticky substance’ such as double-sided tacky tape to increase friction on the banister and deter concertgoers from sliding down it,” according to the complaint against the owners of Buffalo’s Tralf Music Hall. “Unfortunately, this ‘sticky substance’ caused decedent Dr. Verma to lose his center of gravity and caused him to drop in between the staircase and the wall.” The lawsuit also says the theater’s owners knew that alcohol was served on the premises. The deceased was a 28-year-old medical doctor reportedly serving as a first-year resident. [Courthouse News, WIVB]
A California resident has “cited the estimated 1,750 fans a year who are struck by balls, mostly fouls, in a [new federal] lawsuit [against the commissioner of Major League Baseball] seeking to force major league stadiums throughout the U.S. to erect safety nets from ‘foul pole to foul pole.'” [Bloomberg]
“A New Jersey man cannot collect damages for burns he suffered while bowing his head in prayer over a sizzling steak fajita skillet at Applebee’s, a state appeals panel ruled.” [Religion News Service/Newark Star-Ledger]
While in a perfect world all risks could be avoided, in the actual world we live in, life comes with risks that may be unavoidable, obvious, or both, Ontario’s highest court has unanimously ruled. It declined to assign liability to the town of Cayuga over a 2001 incident in which a teenager climbed a popular climbing tree in a public park, fell off, and was rendered a paraplegic. He sued, saying the town should have taken measures such as prohibiting climbing or warning of danger.
“Trees, being by their very nature things which can be climbed and therefore fallen from, are potentially harmful,” the court said. “Any danger posed by this tree was an obvious one. If you chose to climb it, you could fall and be injured.”
A lower court judge dismissing the suit in 2013 declined to create a municipal duty to prevent injuries by developing and enforcing a ban on tree climbing in the park. “There has to be a reasonable limit to such prohibitions on human activity,” he said. [Toronto Star; note the pioneering 2003 English case Tomlinson v. Congleton Borough Council discussed here and here]
A man who performed under the name “Skull Von Krush” is now a plaintiff in a suit seeking class-action status that claims pro wrestling hid the dangers of concussion [Associated Press/Asbury Park Press]
Reality-TV attempt to break world record for “Fastest Time to Jump Through 10 Panes of Tempered Glass” does not end well, money sought [Mike Heuer, Courthouse News]
Wurst-case scenario comes true: “The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled on behalf of a baseball fan who says he was hit in the eye with a hot dog thrown by Sluggerrr, the Kansas City Royals mascot.” The court overruled a trial judge who had instructed jurors that they could find the flying foodstuff to be an assumed risk of attending a Royals game. [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal; earlier]
“Tom Goldstein’s letter for rich client who threw porn star off roof for video” [@RandyEBarnett] is an “instant classic” [@adamliptak]. Goldstein is a prominent member of the Supreme Court bar and co-founder of SCOTUSBlog. [Josh Blackman] Concluding passage of letter:
If she sues, the complaint will be sanctionably frivolous. Your client should just box up almost every last bit of her property (please exclude all videos and photographs, as well as the seemingly inevitable small yappy dog) and drop it off with you in safe-keeping for Mr. Bilzerian. After he receives the judgment in his favor, he will have it all delivered to him. Then he will probably blow it up with a mortar in the desert.
I enjoyed our brief correspondence.
Says the man who sued because he tried to climb a boulder in Manhattan’s Hudson River Park and fell off. Good news, Mr. Stock: you not only get to explore the world, you also get to explore the legal concept known as “assumption of the risk.” [Gothamist]