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Cause of action in tort?

tabularasa
Posts: 200
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12/3/2014 3:39:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Since there is no Law forum, I am posting this in Politics. Take it or leave it.

Hypo:

I am playing flag football. I am a 31 year old male. I like sports and vigorous activity in general. I do not play tackle football, because I do not want to get tackled and suffer an expensive injury. Flag football offers all the joy of football with minimal physical contact. In a game, I am tackled by a player on the opposing team while possessing the ball. Tackling is forbidden in flag football. The tackle was more than incidental contact. I tear my knee, requiring thousands of dollars of surgery, am unable to work, and my wife loses consortium for a few months. Do I or my wife have a cause of action against the player who tackled me? I signed a waiver not to sue the flag football league, but did not waive my right to sue another player.

Alternative A:

He tackled me in bounds.

Alternative B:

He tackled me out of bounds.
1. I already googled it.

2. Give me an argument. Spell it out. "You're wrong," is not an argument.
tabularasa
Posts: 200
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12/3/2014 3:44:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Above post should read: "Do I have a cause of action in tort, and is a court likely to grant relief, and on what grounds?"
1. I already googled it.

2. Give me an argument. Spell it out. "You're wrong," is not an argument.
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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12/3/2014 4:02:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I see no reason why being in or out of bounds would have any bearing on the case.

I'm say you have cause, since the injury should not have happened.
However, since you signed a waiver, you knew that injury was possible, and, while the tackling was against the rules, it was not within reason to assume it could happen, I do not think you would win, but who knows with a jury.

The damages would only go towards medical expenses and loss of pay, assuming you paid anything for them, and had no unemployment/short term disability payments.
I do not see consortium being an issue for a few months, nor how a knee prevents it wholly.
My work here is, finally, done.
tabularasa
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12/3/2014 11:55:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/3/2014 4:02:32 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
I see no reason why being in or out of bounds would have any bearing on the case.

I'm say you have cause, since the injury should not have happened.
However, since you signed a waiver, you knew that injury was possible, and, while the tackling was against the rules, it was not within reason to assume it could happen, I do not think you would win, but who knows with a jury.

The damages would only go towards medical expenses and loss of pay, assuming you paid anything for them, and had no unemployment/short term disability payments.
I do not see consortium being an issue for a few months, nor how a knee prevents it wholly.

One court heard a case in which a woman played touch football. She was being roughed up by a man in the game, in which he pushed her to the ground several times. He stepped on her hand causing injury. She sued. The court ruled that she assumed the risk of the injury by playing in the game.

Another court heard a case in which a man went on a ride at a fair called "The Flopper". The ride consisted of standing on a moving conveyor belt which jerked, causing riders to fall on the padded belt. Plaintiff fell and injured his knee. The court would not grant him relief, saying that he assumed the risk of the ride. I would need to see pictures of where he fell, to make sure that area was adequately padded. People didn't ride the Flopper to fall and get hurt, they rode the Flopper to fall and not get hurt. To fall and not get hurt is what seems fun about the Flopper.

Likewise, the flag football player did not play flag football to get tackled...he played so that he wouldn't get tackled.

I believe the player should be granted relief whether in or out of bounds. However, the case for relief when hit in bounds is weaker than out of bounds. In bounds possible injury is foreseeably greater. People run out of bounds to avoid getting hit.
1. I already googled it.

2. Give me an argument. Spell it out. "You're wrong," is not an argument.
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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12/4/2014 8:44:34 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/3/2014 11:55:10 PM, tabularasa wrote:
At 12/3/2014 4:02:32 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
I see no reason why being in or out of bounds would have any bearing on the case.

I'm say you have cause, since the injury should not have happened.
However, since you signed a waiver, you knew that injury was possible, and, while the tackling was against the rules, it was not within reason to assume it could happen, I do not think you would win, but who knows with a jury.

The damages would only go towards medical expenses and loss of pay, assuming you paid anything for them, and had no unemployment/short term disability payments.
I do not see consortium being an issue for a few months, nor how a knee prevents it wholly.

One court heard a case in which a woman played touch football. She was being roughed up by a man in the game, in which he pushed her to the ground several times. He stepped on her hand causing injury. She sued. The court ruled that she assumed the risk of the injury by playing in the game.
This case is very similar.
Instead of being "roughed up", they were tackled.

Another court heard a case in which a man went on a ride at a fair called "The Flopper". The ride consisted of standing on a moving conveyor belt which jerked, causing riders to fall on the padded belt. Plaintiff fell and injured his knee. The court would not grant him relief, saying that he assumed the risk of the ride. I would need to see pictures of where he fell, to make sure that area was adequately padded. People didn't ride the Flopper to fall and get hurt, they rode the Flopper to fall and not get hurt. To fall and not get hurt is what seems fun about the Flopper.

Likewise, the flag football player did not play flag football to get tackled...he played so that he wouldn't get tackled.
In the aforementioned case, the woman did not play the game to be shoved to the ground repeatedly, nor to have her hand stepped on.

What she desired is not relevant. What is is if there was a reasonable assumption of risk, which I believe there is.

I believe the player should be granted relief whether in or out of bounds. However, the case for relief when hit in bounds is weaker than out of bounds. In bounds possible injury is foreseeably greater. People run out of bounds to avoid getting hit.
My work here is, finally, done.
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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12/4/2014 8:46:03 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
To be clear, I'd assume she would be able to bring the case, but I do not think she should win.
The case should be heard in the case of tackling, as it is a clear violation of the rules.
My work here is, finally, done.
mortsdor
Posts: 1,181
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12/4/2014 2:29:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'd say you'd have to show it more likely than not that the guy Meant to tackle you and that it wasn't just an accident incidental to the game.

In playing the game, there's reason to think that such accidents can happen.

If he went beyond the agreed scope of the game on purpose, then you have cause.

But that's just my opinion.

I've played a lot of tackle football with friends and No Matter the injury, I would be very resistant to the idea of suing the person unless it was clear that the person had malicious intent... beyond the scope of what was implicitly agreed.

Even in flag, it's a reasonable assumption that there may be some accidental contact.
mortsdor
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12/4/2014 2:53:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/4/2014 2:29:53 PM, mortsdor wrote:
I'd say you'd have to show it more likely than not that the guy Meant to tackle you and that it wasn't just an accident incidental to the game.

Or that the degree to which he was pursuing you was negligent in putting you at undue risk... Even if he planned on only grabbing your flag.

However, that'd be a tougher one... Since you would expect people to Run as fast as they can after you..

accidents that might follow from such pursuit should be understood as possibilities when you agreed to play.
mortsdor
Posts: 1,181
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12/4/2014 3:00:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/4/2014 2:29:53 PM, mortsdor wrote:
I'd say you'd have to show it more likely than not that the guy Meant to tackle you and that it wasn't just an accident incidental to the game.

In playing the game, there's reason to think that such accidents can happen.

If he went beyond the agreed scope of the game on purpose, then you have cause.

But that's just my opinion.

I've played a lot of tackle football with friends and No Matter the injury, I would be very resistant to the idea of suing the person unless it was clear that the person had malicious intent... beyond the scope of what was implicitly agreed.

Even in flag, it's a reasonable assumption that there may be some accidental contact.

In fact after a rugby practice some years ago, bunch of guys decided to play kill the carrier...

I accidentally broke the tibia of the guy who had the ball. :/

I felt bad, and regretted how I leaped after him as he was fleeing, landing on his leg..

but that's kind of what the game was about.. Not breaking tibias.. but doing your utmost to tackle the guy
Guy I injured didn't blame me at all though... I still felt bad, but :/

Now if the flag guy Meant to go beyond the scope of the game, and Meant to tackle you.. That's cause I'd say... But if it was any kind of accident which followed from playing the game.. Then no.
mortsdor
Posts: 1,181
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12/4/2014 3:06:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/4/2014 3:00:35 PM, mortsdor wrote:
Guy I injured didn't blame me at all though... I still felt bad, but :/

Pretty sure it was covered under the school's insurance policy though... since it was closely associated with our Rugby practice (and i'd imagine it was claimed to have occurred during the practice instead of right afterwards)

so he probably didn't bear any of the costs of the surgery and such himself.

I can see it being a bigger and more worrisome issue for someone who had to bear the cost themselves.
YYW
Posts: 36,252
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12/4/2014 6:18:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/3/2014 3:39:09 PM, tabularasa wrote:
Since there is no Law forum, I am posting this in Politics. Take it or leave it.

Hypo:

I am playing flag football. I am a 31 year old male. I like sports and vigorous activity in general. I do not play tackle football, because I do not want to get tackled and suffer an expensive injury. Flag football offers all the joy of football with minimal physical contact. In a game, I am tackled by a player on the opposing team while possessing the ball. Tackling is forbidden in flag football. The tackle was more than incidental contact. I tear my knee, requiring thousands of dollars of surgery, am unable to work, and my wife loses consortium for a few months. Do I or my wife have a cause of action against the player who tackled me? I signed a waiver not to sue the flag football league, but did not waive my right to sue another player.

It's unlikely. Even though flag football doesn't normally entail physical contact beyond taking flags from a person's back pocket, the context still maters -and the fact that the offensive contact here took place in a context where it would not be entirely situationally inappropriate is most likely going to absolve anyone for liability for battery if the tackle was intentional. I mean, it's possible, but very unlikely that a court would award damages in that situation absent some evidence of malice on the other person's part.

The trick to this is that your torts professor (I assume you're a first year law student, which is why you're asking this question) is giving you facts that would suggest talking about the eggshell skull plaintiff rule -meaning that the defendant takes the plaintiff as he finds him- because you're talking about consequences that are probably not foreseeable within the context of the offensive contact that was made, but still, given the context that this was a sporting event it's unlikely that a court would award damages.

So, even though you could probably make a prima facie case for battery (intent + offensive contact), the fact that you were on a field in a sporting event is going to make it unlikely that you're going to get any damages.

As to whether you might sue the guy for negligently tackling you... well... that's an even weaker case and you really shouldn't even go there.

Alternative A:

He tackled me in bounds.

So, the case is stronger here for the defendant because you're in a situation where the context is most likely going to excuse the contact.

Alternative B:

He tackled me out of bounds.

Case is stronger here for you, but it depends. If you're standing on the field after you quit and you are not in anyway playing the game then you've probably got a cause of action. If you're out of bounds because you just ran out of bounds -like, perhaps because you were carrying the football- then it's really unlikely that any court is going to award you damages.
Tsar of DDO
tabularasa
Posts: 200
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12/5/2014 12:22:45 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
i agree with the above
1. I already googled it.

2. Give me an argument. Spell it out. "You're wrong," is not an argument.
ben2974
Posts: 767
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12/5/2014 8:16:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Isn't the point of flag football to explicitly avoid rough contact of the exact kind noted in the hypothetical?
tabularasa
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12/6/2014 2:25:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/5/2014 8:16:13 PM, ben2974 wrote:
Isn't the point of flag football to explicitly avoid rough contact of the exact kind noted in the hypothetical?

Yes. This is what makes the hypo interesting, in my opinion. I think that most courts say that the plaintiff has impliedly assumed the risk of playing in a game in which injury can happen. Or, the plaintiff has also been negligent in playing in the league (whichever you like). I have played in leagues in which I have been outright tackled by other players. I believe that an argument can be made that because I decided to play a sport in which I knew I could get tackled or otherwise injured that I assumed the risk, and was therefore also negligent (or partially to blame for the injury).

However, every time I get in the car, I know that I could be hit by another vehicle, hit another vehicle, get injured, injure another, die, or kill someone. If negligence is involved with any of these outcomes, then the court can grant relief. The fact that I assumed the risk of driving is irrelevant to an automobile accident case in every jurisdiction (that I know of). If the injured party was partially negligent in causing the accident, then in some jurisdictions plaintiff cannot recover (I think four jurisdictions use the contributory negligence rule).

My opinion is that whereas courts do not consider a plaintiff negligent for merely driving, courts should also not consider a player negligent for merely playing a sport. Assuming the risk of driving an automobile does not preclude any of us from making a negligence claim against another. We all know that any time we drive may be the last time that we drive. Nonetheless, we may sue others for negligent driving causing injury. Likewise, we should be able to sue others for at least intentional battery while playing sports. Most injuries in sports are either caused by no one in particular, or are negligently caused. If proof can be given that the injury was intentional, I believe that recovery should be granted. The law should be expanded to allow recovery in these cases. Such law would not keep people from playing sports, it would make them play more safely. It would keep the type of people who want to argue and fight away from public sports leagues. Sports are good. We want people to play sports. We do not want people to be endangered by others while playing sports.
1. I already googled it.

2. Give me an argument. Spell it out. "You're wrong," is not an argument.