SW Legal Educational Publishing

Ski Injury Due To Other Skier's Negligence Not Actionable
Description Skier injured due to negligent action of other skier is barred from suit by the doctrine of primary assumption of risk.
Topic Torts
Key Words Negligence, Assumption of Risk
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Two friends were skiing together. One accidentally ran into the other, causing injury for which the victim sued. Both parties agree there was no intent to injure, so the basis of the action is negligence. Defendant moved for, and was granted summary judgment. Appeals court affirmed; plaintiff appealed.
Decision Affirmed. Primary assumption of risk occurs when "there is 'no duty' on the part of the defendant to protect the plaintiff from a particular risk." When applicable, this completely bars recovery. The "general test is 'that a participant in an active sport breaches a legal duty of care to other participants--i.e., engages in conduct that properly may subject him or her to financial liability-- only if the participant intentionally injures another player or engages in conduct that is so reckless as to be totally outside the range of the ordinary activity involved in the sport.'"

"By eliminating liability for unintended accidents, the doctrine [or primary assumption of the risk] ensures that the fervor of athletic competition will not be chilled by the constant threat of litigation from every misstep, sharp turn and sudden stop."

Citation Cheong v. Antablin, 68 Cal.Rptr.2d 859 (Sup. Ct., Cal., 1997)

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