Rulings Likely Spur a Drop in Errant Golf Ball Suits, But Legal Disputes Remain
Courts are making it more difficult to sue over errant golf shots, but that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of lawsuits that arise from the sport.
More states are requiring either intentional or gross and reckless negligence for lawsuits over injuries caused by bad golf shots, the New York Times reports. The New York Court of Appeals considered the liability issues, ruling earlier this week that a golfer blinded in one eye by a shanked shot had assumed the risk of injury.
But golf ball injuries aren’t the only source of suits. There are lawsuits claiming injuries from faulty course design, and from golf carts that tip over. There are suits over environmental problems caused by golf courses, and suits for discrimination filed by rejected golf club members. “Golf has evolved into the perfect litigation machine,” the Times says.
The newspaper spoke to University of San Diego law professor John Minan, author of The Little Green Book of Golf Law published by the ABA. He said golf probably ranks first or second for sports lawsuits, with baseball suits giving the sport a run for the money.