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High School Wrestler Assumed Risk of Injury from Wind Sprints

June 17, 2009

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In Musante v. Oceanside Union Free School District, the plaintiff was injured at wrestling practice when he tripped over the edge of a wrestling mat while participating in "wind sprints." As a result of tripping on the mat, plaintiff claimed he was caused to collide with a nearby wall. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant was negligent in directing him to use the wall as a finishing point for the drill. The trial court denied the defendant's motion for summary judgment.
On appeal, the Appellate Division, Second Department, reversed and granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment. The Appellate Division reasoned that by participating in a sport or recreational activity, the plaintiff had consented to the commonly appreciated risks which were inherent in and arose out of participation in the sport. The court further stated that the defendant met its burden by demonstrating that the risk of colliding with the wall was inherent in the activity and that the condition of the wall was open and obvious.
Thanks to Brad Thelander for his contribution to this post.
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