In a decision that was handed down on January 9 in the case of Gevorgyan v. The City of New York, et al., a New York County judge held that despite signing a release form that was part of his registration to play in this amateur soccer league, the plaintiff could still pursue his personal injury claim against New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation that occurred when he tripped and fell over a partially concealed defect in the turf.
Here's why:

As the court noted, "A voluntary participant in a sporting or recreational activity is deemed to consent to 'those commonly appreciated risks which are inherent in and arise out of the nature of the sport generally and flow from such participation,' this principle extends to those risks associated with the construction of the playing field and any open and obvious condition thereon. If the risks are known by or perfectly obvious to the player, he or she has consented to them and the property owner has discharged its duty of care by making the conditions as safe as they appear to be."

On the other hand, however, some of New York's appellate courts have held that granting summary judgment is improper where there is an issue of fact as to whether or not a dangerous/defective condition on a playing field was hidden. See e.g. Guardino v. Kings Park School Dist., 300 AD2d 355 (2d Dept 2002); Cronson v. Town of North Hempstead, 245 AD2d 331 (2d Dept 1997) ; Henig v. Hofstra University, 160 AD2d 761 (2d Dept 1990). 
Jonathan Cooper
Connect with me
Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
Post A Comment