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Woman hit by errant golf ball sues Oregon course [AP]

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[QUOTE name="rkim291968" url="/t/82461/woman-hit-by-errant-golf-ball-sues-oregon-course-ap/20_20#post_1153421"]   Paying for injured person's hospital bill, etc. is ok.   As a golfer, if I injure someone or damage one's property, I will have to pay.   $900k (including about 1/2 million to husband) claim is a total BS.  [/QUOTE] I am not sure the validity of the case either.. however, what if the incident has really had an impact on their relationship?  The husband has been impacted in that case and has a legitimate claim doesn't he?

And people wonder why divorce rates are so high in California. . . The husband clearly should have been the intended target.

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From this article:  http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2007-02-04/sports/0702030440_1_golf-courses-golf-industry-golf-professionals

"Generally speaking, the golfer is probably not responsible," says Rick Woulfe, an attorney with the Fort Lauderdale firm Bunnell Woulfe and an outstanding amateur golfer who once eliminated 16-year-old Tiger Woods in the Dixie Amateur. "In most cases, when somebody is acting in a manner most people would define as reasonable and just hits a bad shot, he's usually not held responsible."

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And people wonder why divorce rates are so high in California. . . The husband clearly should have been the intended target.

This went over my head..

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If I am walking near an active softball field, I without a doubt have a reasonable expectation that no one will hit him intentionally or unintentionally.. If the park can't protect people who aren't watching or participating then they should bear the consequence of the lawsuit..

Where's your sense of personal responsibility? If you're walking by a softball field and there's a game going on, you absolutely should be aware of your surroundings.

Reasonable expectation for a normal person is that he should not get hit by anything..

I'm starting to think you don't understand what reasonable expectation means. Reasonable expectation is completely dependent upon the circumstances. A reasonable person can expect that there may be errant balls near a ball field or golf course. It is unreasonable to think otherwise.

It's completely reasonable to not expect to be hit by a golf ball if you're walking in the mall parking lot, but reasonable expectation is that one may get hit by an errant ball when near a ball field no matter how small the chance of actually being hit is.

It is the unreasonable person that goes around completely oblivious to their surroundings and expects other people to accommodate them.

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Where's your sense of personal responsibility? If you're walking by a softball field and there's a game going on, you absolutely should be aware of your surroundings. I'm starting to think you don't understand what reasonable expectation means. Reasonable expectation is completely dependent upon the circumstances. A reasonable person can expect that there may be errant balls near a ball field or golf course. It is unreasonable to think otherwise. It's completely reasonable to not expect to be hit by a golf ball if you're walking in the mall parking lot, but reasonable expectation is that one may get hit by an errant ball when near a ball field no matter how small the chance of actually being hit is. It is the unreasonable person that goes around completely oblivious to their surroundings and expects other people to accommodate them.

No where in my statements did I say someone should be oblivious to their sourroundings, so this straw man should just stop before it gets out of control. If I am near a softball field I can be aware all I want, but if I get hit I am going to file a lawsuit.. As opposed to the lady in Boston who was in the stands watching the game and got drilled in the face with a broken bat.. Since she goes to the game understanding the inherent risk in being that close to the action as opposed to me walking on then side walk and assuming that even if I am paying all the attention in the world I expect therm to have protected me from anything leaving that field.. You can think what you like, but I am sticking to what I said and you haven't said anything to dissuade me yet.. If I am walking on a "public walkway" and I get drilled by a ball someone is getting sued (depending on the damage obviously).. Remember even if you know something is coming to hit you, it's not like you can always avoid it.. Hence there are people who play golf and get hit all the time and they know there are gold balls flying.. My whole argument is heading towards me agreeing that the golf course is responsible here, or the town for not enforcing what ever safety required... Maybe they are asking for too much I don't know nor care, but someone other than the lady hit is responsible here and should pay.

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No where in my statements did I say someone should be oblivious to their sourroundings, so this straw man should just stop before it gets out of control.

If I am near a softball field I can be aware all I want, but if I get hit I am going to file a lawsuit.. As opposed to the lady in Boston who was in the stands watching the game and got drilled in the face with a broken bat.. Since she goes to the game understanding the inherent risk in being that close to the action as opposed to me walking on then side walk and assuming that even if I am paying all the attention in the world I expect therm to have protected me from anything leaving that field..

You can think what you like, but I am sticking to what I said and you haven't said anything to dissuade me yet.. If I am walking on a "public walkway" and I get drilled by a ball someone is getting sued (depending on the damage obviously).. Remember even if you know something is coming to hit you, it's not like you can always avoid it.. Hence there are people who play golf and get hit all the time and they know there are gold balls flying..

My whole argument is heading towards me agreeing that the golf course is responsible here, or the town for not enforcing what ever safety required... Maybe they are asking for too much I don't know nor care, but someone other than the lady hit is responsible here and should pay.

Right, so you seem to be confusing reasonable expectation with liability. Got it.

Yes, the golf course should be liable for something.

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1. People in the stands know that it is very possible that they get hit.. 2. I'm not saying for the Rec departments to start building walls.. However, it is easy to divert public walkways if there is a real danger can't they? And I see that in a lot of the parks around here.. The park has nothing around it basically.. Or for example when I went into Boston and there is a softball field they put up a net in all the right places and didn't just say hey the heck with it, let balls fly did they? 3. if I got hit in the face and ended up with face fractures and broken teeth by a foul ball because the town couldn't put up a $300 net or what ever then yeah of course I would.. Wouldn't you? Or you would just chalk it up and take one for the town?

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The monetary damages are debatable. $900K or $200 is not the issue here. WHO is responsible for the injury?  Was the injury an Act of God or was it caused by some human through design, negligence or simple stupidity?  I have found that there is only one way to make people pay attention to their careless ways-take their money.

Some may recall the chap who bought the 'new' Volvo. He paid $40K and expected a new car.  But Volvo dealer had repainted the car and never told him.  No mileage, just new paint.  Chap sued and won $5M.  Do you think Volvo will be doing that again?

The bad golfer is liable for the injury.  The damages will be decided by judge or jury.  NO question in my mind.  And this is the correct, and responsible, position.

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I don't think taking money away will solve people's "careless" ways. They'll just find some cheaper way to endanger other people's lives. Golf is a game of mishits. Seems like this thinking discourages golf in general.

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I don't think taking money away will solve people's "careless" ways. They'll just find some cheaper way to endanger other people's lives.

Golf is a game of mishits. Seems like this thinking discourages golf in general.

Yep, every golfer is going to hit a bad mishit from time to time and its often down to luck where the ball goes. People are often in the wrong place at the wong time and these shots are just accidents. Obviously the shout of "FORE" must be made. Its unfirtunate we live in a blame and claim culture

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1. People in the stands know that it is very possible that they get hit..

2. I'm not saying for the Rec departments to start building walls.. However, it is easy to divert public walkways if there is a real danger can't they? And I see that in a lot of the parks around here.. The park has nothing around it basically.. Or for example when I went into Boston and there is a softball field they put up a net in all the right places and didn't just say hey the heck with it, let balls fly did they?

3. if I got hit in the face and ended up with face fractures and broken teeth by a foul ball because the town couldn't put up a $300 net or what ever then yeah of course I would.. Wouldn't you? Or you would just chalk it up and take one for the town?

Most communities where there are golf course do not want huge nets surrounding the golf course perimeter because they look unappealing.

Even if they were approved to install nets, how high do you place the nets, 15 feet, 20 feet, 40 feet?   What happens is you have nets and someone still hits the ball over the net?

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It seems to me that the case against the course should immediately be dropped just because they're in no way really liable for this (they have done their due diligence I feel by planting trees it looks like to block errant shots). If you argue that they should have warning signs posted, that's like saying you should sue the National Weather Service because you were struck by lightning when they didn't have a severe thunderstorm warning in the area. It's an area that any reasonably astute observer could tell might be dangerous.

The case against the golfer I also feel is fairly without merit, and the amount she's claiming in damages is only going to hurt her case in the eyes of the court. The pedestrian put herself in danger by walking along that road, the same as if you were near a softball field or if you walked into a thunderstorm. Since the pedestrian introduced the danger upon herself, on a road without a walkway (this is important since it makes it clear that pedestrians were not meant to be there), there should be no case.

One other thing hurting their case is that they waited two summers to file suit. I somehow don't buy that the symptoms suddenly appeared for her. If the issues stated were truly caused by this incident, don't you think they'd have done something about it sooner? Looks like a money grab to me.

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Me being the traffic engineer.  The only thing I see on that image is a bike lane, single lane in each direction for cars, and no walk for pedestrians.

Basically they were jaywalking on a roadway they had no right walking on. They should be cited a ticket.

Looking at Google Earth, the course has several holes along the street in that first picture shown above.  There's no fence, but there is a thin row of trees and there are homes across the street.  I would suspect that a few golfers often cross the street to retrieve errant shots. A pedestrian can't miss seeing the golf course, and a golfer can see houses and cars on the street thru the trees. No sidewalks.

The course claims to be the oldest track in the Pacific Northwest by the way.

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1. People in the stands know that it is very possible that they get hit..

2. I'm not saying for the Rec departments to start building walls.. However, it is easy to divert public walkways if there is a real danger can't they? And I see that in a lot of the parks around here.. The park has nothing around it basically.. Or for example when I went into Boston and there is a softball field they put up a net in all the right places and didn't just say hey the heck with it, let balls fly did they?

3. if I got hit in the face and ended up with face fractures and broken teeth by a foul ball because the town couldn't put up a $300 net or what ever then yeah of course I would.. Wouldn't you? Or you would just chalk it up and take one for the town?

I think you're responding to my post that I deleted b/c I thought better of it.

To answer #3 - No, I wouldn't sue. Most high-traffic softball fields are complexes - 4 or more fields in one area. It's impossible to divert "walkways" there, and I can't think of any single baseball/softball field I've ever seen where a public walkway was directly next to it, or close enough for a regular foul ball to hit someone out of the blue. If I was taking a leisurely stroll next to a baseball/softball game where a game was going on, the only way I would sue would be against a person who was acting ridiculous - hitting a ball purposely into the stands, etc. I can't see any reason to sue a municipality for the negligence of a person. My standard of reasonable expectation is that if I'm watching or walking next to a softball field where an active game is taking place, the ball might stray from the playing field occasionally. That's life. I guess I just grew up around baseball and softball all of my life and watched car windshields get shattered, people get hit (including myself several times), etc. and I never heard of a single instance where someone filed suit.

Was the softball field in Boston Proper or in a suburb like Allston or Jamaica Plain? I would expect a softball field in an urban area to have netting. Just like the driving range at Chelsea Piers in NYC is enclosed in netting. Else you might have Kramer hit a ball into the harbor and end up in a whale's blowhole! (shameless Seinfeld reference).

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I owned a house on a golf course.  The course was a part of our development and all of the home owners attended meetings to discuss what, if any, provisions needed to be taken to protect people and property from errant golf balls.     The community and course was built on forest land so there were a lot of trees around the perimeter of the course to help protect the homes but in early spring and late fall they were obviously less effective.

As a community we agreed that netting around the perimeter of the course would be an eyesore and costly to install and maintain.  We were instructed by legal to not put up netting because if we did install it and it failed, we could be held liable for damages because the fact we installed netting indicated we as a community recognized there was a threat and the failure of the netting could be viewed as negligence.

If the woman was hurt as badly as her lawsuit claims I feel bad for her, but with regards to the golfer or the course, they shouldn't pay a dime other than possibly doctor bills if she didn't have insurance.

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I think you're responding to my post that I deleted b/c I thought better of it. To answer #3 - No, I wouldn't sue. Most high-traffic softball fields are complexes - 4 or more fields in one area. It's impossible to divert "walkways" there, and I can't think of any single baseball/softball field I've ever seen where a public walkway was directly next to it, or close enough for a regular foul ball to hit someone out of the blue. If I was taking a leisurely stroll next to a baseball/softball game where a game was going on, the only way I would sue would be against a person who was acting ridiculous - hitting a ball purposely into the stands, etc. I can't see any reason to sue a municipality for the negligence of a person. My standard of reasonable expectation is that if I'm watching or walking next to a softball field where an active game is taking place, the ball might stray from the playing field occasionally. That's life. I guess I just grew up around baseball and softball all of my life and watched car windshields get shattered, people get hit (including myself several times), etc. and I never heard of a single instance where someone filed suit. Was the softball field in Boston Proper or in a suburb like Allston or Jamaica Plain? I would expect a softball field in an urban area to have netting. Just like the driving range at Chelsea Piers in NYC is enclosed in netting. Else you might have Kramer hit a ball into the harbor and end up in a whale's blowhole! (shameless Seinfeld reference).

Yeah, I'm differentiating between a field that had no walkways and a field with actual walkways.. If you go venturing near fields then I agree you are taking that risk, but if it is a publicly maintained walkway I feel differently. Because they are basically saying it is safe to walk here, unless they put a sign I guess that said walk at your own risk? I agree too if you go park in the parking lot of a softball field you are taking your own risk of the ball hitting your windshield as well, but not if it was a public parking not related to the softball field.. I can't remember the exact area but it was netted IIRC.

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Yeah, I'm differentiating between a field that had no walkways and a field with actual walkways.. If you go venturing near fields then I agree you are taking that risk, but if it is a publicly maintained walkway I feel differently. Because they are basically saying it is safe to walk here, unless they put a sign I guess that said walk at your own risk?

I agree too if you go park in the parking lot of a softball field you are taking your own risk of the ball hitting your windshield as well, but not if it was a public parking not related to the softball field..

I can't remember the exact area but it was netted IIRC.

I think we have reached a consensus here. A rare occurrence in an argument :-) If a city put a public walkway next to a softball field, I would expect them to protect it with some kind of fence, net, etc.

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...If I am near a softball field I can be aware all I want, but if I get hit I am going to file a lawsuit...

This is the line of thinking that is ruining the court system. I don't think there has ever been a situation I've thought about or been involved in, where the idea of filing a lawsuit came into my mind. The idea to sue for what is clearly an accident is just plain wrong. I hope one day you get put in a similar situation, then you might understand how these things end up ruining peoples lives, you might think differently after that.

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