Torts and Sports: Legal Liability in Professional and Amateur Athletics

By Raymond L. Yasser | Go to book overview

1
Tort Liability of One Participant to Another

Participation in sports carries with it special risks. It is probably fair to say that sports activities--playing baseball, basketball, football, tennis, and racketball, for example--mate greater risks of physical harm than do most other human activities. Typically, injuries incurred in athletic competition are not of tortious origin. They occur as a result of the normal risks associated with participation in the sport. Thus, when a basketball player breaks his ankle after jumping and inadvertently landing on his opponent's foot, no lawyer worth his salt would be heard to argue that the opponent is a tortfeasor. In some instances, however, injuries occur as a consequence of arguably tortious behavior by a participant. This chapter explores those instances.

Generally, in an athletic event a participant who is injured by the act of another participant can base an action to recover on three theories. The first theory is an intentional tort theory, such as battery or assault. The second theory is negligence. The third theory available to the injured participant is based on recklessness.

A simple definition of battery is the intentional, unprivileged, harmful, or offensive contact by the defendant with the person of another. An assault is committed when the defendant, without privilege, intentionally places the plaintiff in apprehension of an immediate harmful or offensive touching. Sports activities are rife with what can arguably be termed assaults and batteries. A review of the cases indicates that the existence or nonexistence of a defense of privilege is often the key issue in such litigation. The Restatement provides the following definition of privilege.

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Torts and Sports: Legal Liability in Professional and Amateur Athletics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles from QUORUM BOOKS ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - Tort Liability of One Participant to Another 3
  • Bibliography 28
  • 2 - The Spectator as Plaintiff 31
  • Bibliography 50
  • 3 - Medical Malpractice in Athletics 51
  • Bibliography 64
  • 4 - Products Liability for Defective Athletic Equipment 65
  • Bibliography 85
  • 5 - Defamation and Invasion of Privacy 87
  • Bibliography 115
  • 6 - Worker's Compensation Laws and the Athlete 117
  • Bibliography 140
  • 7 - Intentional Interference with Contractual Relations 143
  • Bibliography 156
  • Table of Cases 157
  • Index 161
  • About the Author 165
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