$2.7 Million Award For Student Struck By Baseball Bat (Swung By Negligent Fellow Student) Overturned
A jury's award of $2.7 million to a former student who was slammed in the face by a carelessly swung bat during an elective high school gym class has been thrown out by a state appellate court. In Navarro v. City of New York, 2011 NY Slip Op 06412, the Appellate Division, First Department noted that a participant in an athletic activity assumes the "commonly appreciated risks" that are "inherent" in the sport that arise out of the nature of the sport generally. The Court indicated that the danger from swinging bats during warm-up, which is when the accident occurred, is to be expected in baseball and softball, and the female teenage Plaintiff, an experienced player, admittedly knew those risks.
A woman's suit can go forward over back and shoulder injuries she claims she suffered while riding a horse inaptly named Friendly at an Adirondack Mountains stable, a state judge has held. According to the record before Wayne County Court Judge John B. Nesbitt in Vanderbrook v. Emerald Springs Ranch, 2011 NY Slip Op 32355(U), the Plaintiff established that she adequately expressed her concerns to employees of the Emerald Springs Ranch in Saranac Lake and its operators that she felt unsafe on Friendly during their ride in July 2004. Ms. Vanderbrook complained that personnel at the ranch knew she was not an experienced rider and that the horse reared early in the ride. She said that Friendly also balked at crossing pools of water and rubbed her shanks against trees in an effort to knock off Ms. Vanderbrook. At one point, Ms. Vanderbrook said her leg became caught on a tree and her torso was yanked violently backward. The Court noted that, while defendants can generally argue that pleasure horse riders "assume the risks" of their riding, there were adequate indications that Friendly was not so friendly. "In the Court's view, the plaintiff has submitted sufficient evidence...which the trier of fact may infer that on the day in question plaintiff's horse was of aggressive temperament manifesting behavior both recalcitrant and disobedient," the Judge wrote.
A golfer who refused to come out of the rain and fell on stairs near the 15th hole cannot sustain a negligence action against the Pennsylvania course, an Eastern District U.S. judge has held.
"No matter how carefully we construct golf courses in the form of earthly Elysian fields, they necessarily retain some dangers to those who use them," Senior Judge Jack B. Weinstein wrote in Rochford v. Woodloch Pines, 10-cv-3190 (EDNY). "With the pleasures of playing in the rain on artificially-created natural paradises comes the known risks of walking on wet steps and grounds."
The family of a woman killed in a rockslide at a public park after leaving a marked trail to explore a waterfall can proceed with a lawsuit against the state, according to a Court of Claims judge, who questioned the sufficiency of the park's signage.
(The above content is all based on recent articles and analysis from the New York Law Journal).