So you’re on the fourth hole and BAM! Your playing partner duffs a shot across the fairway and implanted his Titleist into your head, causing you to lose sight in one eye. [Sorry. John Madden wrote that last sentence.] But wait? You don’t remember hearing anyone yell “Fore!” So you sue the guy who hit the ball because certainly, he had an obligation to warn you of his errant shot.
Not so, at least in New York, where the Court of Appeals has found no such duty of care exists.
The court found that the injured party assumed the being hit by a golf ball is an assumed risk of playing golf, thus had to show intent or recklessness.
Here, Kapoor’s failure to warn of his intent to strike the ball did not amount to intentional or reckless conduct, and did not unreasonably increase the risks inherent in golf to which Anand consented. Rather, the manner in which Anand was injured – – being hit without warning by a “shanked” shot while one searches for one’s own ball — reflects a commonly appreciated risk of golf ….
That’s it for us this year. See you in 2011.