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Soccer Game Spectator's Recovery Barred By Assumption of Risk

July 6, 2009

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The plaintiff, a spectator at a soccer game, brought suit against Nassau County and a soccer league for injuries she sustained when a soccer player kicked her as she watched a game. The plaintiff was standing roughly three feet from the out of bounds line. The league provided bleachers for spectators and had security guards on hand enforcing the league policy barring spectators from standing on the sidelines.

The court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment because the plaintiff chose to stand near the sidelines even though she witnessed players chase the ball after it went of bounds on at least three times prior to her accident. The court held that the plaintiff placed herself in close proximity to the field of play despite observing the precise risks that caused her accident and despite the fact that the league provided her with a safe alternative place to watch the game. Therefore, applying the doctrine of assumption of the risk, the plaintiff's recovery is barred.

Thanks to Maju Varghese for his contribution to this post.

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