SW Legal studies in Business

No Duty to Warn Club Patrons of Adjustments to Swimming Pool Diving Board
Description Appeals court held that a negligence suit against a swimming club was properly dismissed. In accordance with safety standards, the club had adjusted the diving board to make it less springy. A patron who suffered a knee injury because he expected a more springy board did not have a cause of action.
Topic Torts
Key Words Negligence; Warning; Open and Obvious
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Earnsberger belonged to a swim club and had used the pool and diving board numerous times. The club had adjusted the board to make it less springy because an inspector from the County Health Department ordered the change so the board would be in compliance with Ohio law. After it was adjusted, Earnsberger ruptured a patellar tendon in his knee when he jumped on the board and it had less give than he expected. He sued the swim club and the company that adjusted the board for negligence. The district court dismissed the suit. Earnsberger appealed.
Decision

Affirmed. The adjustments to the diving board were reasonable. The fact that the spring of the board had changed was open and obvious, so there was no need for a warning to be posted. Earnsberger saw other people diving, was a regular visitor to the club, and was a former lifeguard. There was no negligence in adjusting the board.

Citation Earnsberger v. Griffiths Park Swim Club, 2002 WL 1626126 (Ct. App., Ohio, 2002)

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