South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Risk of Injury from Fair Ride Was Open and Obvious
Description Alabama high court held that there was no claim of negligence against the operator of a mechanical bull at a fair since the danger of injury was open and obvious, and the rider had signed a waiver that clearly stated the risk of injury.
Topic Torts
Key Words Negligence; Open and Obvious Danger; Liability Waiver
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Lilya was attending the Gulf State Fair in Alabama when he paid to ride a mechanical bull billed as “Rolling Thunder.” Lilya observed that people who rode the bull generally fell. As part of the agreement to ride, Lilya signed a form that acknowledged the risks and agreed to hold the seller of the service harmless for any injury he suffered. After Lilya fell and suffered serious injuries, he sued for negligence. The trial court dismissed the case. Lilya appealed.
Decision

Affirmed. “Here, the only evidence of danger stemming from the mechanical bull ride is the most open and obvious characteristic of the ride: the possibility of falling off the mechanical bull. Lilya was aware that the two riders who had ridden the mechanical bull immediately before he rode it had fallen off. He noticed the thick floor mat, and he knew that the mat was there to protect riders when they fell. Also he signed a release that explicitly stated, among other things, 1) that riding the mechanical bull involved inherent risks, 2) that injury was a possibility, . . . and 4) that Lily understood the risks and rode voluntarily.” The possibility of injury was open and obvious, so there was no negligence.

Citation Lilya v. Greater Gulf State Fair, Inc., --- So.2d --- (2003 WL 379425, Sup. Ct., Ala., 2003)

Back to Torts Listings

©1997-2003  SW Legal Studies in Business. All Rights Reserved.