The oily smell of wet morning grass permeates the air as Francesco surveys
the sunny soccer field in front of him. Every spring, he plays in a recreational
men’s league and dominates the field. The new soccer complex has
some impressive fields.
Sprinting towards a wing pass coming from the left winger, contact between
Francesco and a player from the other team causes Francesco to fall. It
is a normal part of the game, and the contact was minor. The other players
continue to move and think nothing about Francesco’s fall.
Thirty seconds later, Francesco still lies on the ground. Several players
approach Francesco and encourage him to get up. He does not move. Upon
closer inspection, they discover that Francesco is bleeding and unconscious.
Confused about how such a small fall could cause such a serious injury,
the players investigate more. They move Francesco and find a small, rusty,
piece of metal pipe rising two inches out of the ground. The side of Francesco’s
head, just above his ear, collided with the steel.
Our experienced Poughkeepsie sporting accident attorneys know that playing sports has inherent dangers. Athletes, professional
and or recreational, know the risks and accept them. Quite often, injuries
from sporting accidents cannot be compensated for in a court of law. This
is because of a legal doctrine called, assumption of risk. It means that
when a person voluntarily takes part in a sport, that person assumes the
risk of injury from the normal risks associated with playing that sport.
For example, if a baseball player gets injured in the normal course of
play, he cannot sue someone if he is injured.
Think back to the story above and about how Francesco was injured. He will
not be able to sue the player that knocked him down. Physical contact
is normal in soccer and players are frequently knocked to the ground.
assumption of the risk rule will preclude a suit. But what about that rusty steel rod? Can Francesco
sue the field owner? Yes, he probably has a good case.
Exceptions to the assumption of the risk rule will help. There are two
exceptions. One exception relates to willful and/or malicious conduct.
The second relates to faulty and/or defective equipment. In Francesco’s
case, he should not and could not expect that a metal rod would be there
and it is not normal to a soccer field or the sport. The field can be
called faulty and defective.
As for willful or malicious conduct; a player is hurt by another person
in a way that isn’t expected. For example, a rival tennis player
jumps over the net and punches her opponent. Since this is not normal
in tennis, the victim could sue the aggressor.
Learn more about springtime warm weather bringing people outdoors for fun
and, unfortunately, accidents in
our latest article posted here. Read about how more people walking outside leads to more car accidents
with pedestrians in
our blog posted here. Learn about who is liable for broken and cracked sidewalks in
our blog posted here.
Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.