Shankopotamus Not Liable for Failing to Yell “Fore”

A recent issue of the New York Law Journal contains a report on a recent case in which the New York Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a personal injury suit filed against a golfer who failed to yell “fore” after hitting an errant shot and seriosuly injuring one of his playing partners. Seems that the court concluded that golfers assume the risk of being hit and harmed by the errant shots of other players, and that the plaintiff could not, therefore, maintain a negligence claim against his playing partner who shanked a fairway iron into the plaintiff’s eye, detaching his retina and permanently blinding him. The Shankopotamus in question’s failure to shout “fore” after the mishit doesn’t subject him to liability given the other players’ assumption of the risk. Any casual golfer knows, of course, that, given the lack of precision with which most amateurs often hit the ball, there is some risk of being hit by another player’s ball. I’m not so sure, however, that any player assumes the risk that one of his own playing partners will shank the ball almost dead right off his club and not even yell “fore”, as longstanding golf custom and practice dictates. In other words, while it is true that golfers assume some risk when they’re on the golf course, I think that the Court of Appeals got it wrong in finding that tey assume that particular risk. But hey, they’ve made the world safe for all of the Shankopotamuses in the State of New York. So they’ve got that going for them.

One Response to Shankopotamus Not Liable for Failing to Yell “Fore”
  1. Beltrami Criminal Law Glasgow
    February 4, 2011 | 5:43 am

    Just spotted this one – very interesting stuff. Although the damage caused to the person were severe, it is an inherent part of golf that injury is possible. Shouting fore may not have prevented the injuries in any case. Nevertheless, most golfers have insurance when they play so it is wondered that if the litigation had been successful whether the compensation would have been paid from the insurer. Looking forward to further posts, Best, Criminal Defence Solicitors Glasgow