Golfer Beaned In Head Allowed a Jury Trial Against Fellow Golfer

On December 5, 2017, Westchester County Supreme Court Justice William J. Giacomo, denied summary judgment (pre-trial dismissal) to a golfer who was struck in the head while playing in a threesome at the Lake Isle Country Club. The defendant Mac Donald and the plaintiff were experienced golfers and were part of a threesome that had completed twelve holes before the accident occurred. Usually, the general rule of "assumption of the risk" doctrine precludes a lawsuit for money damages when someone is injured by a risk which is inherent in and arises out of the ordinary nature of the sporting activity. However, the Court found reason not to apply the general rule and wisely allowed this case to proceed to a jury trial so that a jury could decide all issues.

The facts leading up to the accident were not in dispute. Both player's (plaintiff and defendant) "hit their tee shot and then their second shot." The plaintiff's second shot went over to the left of the fairway and the defendant's shot went to the right of the fairway in the rough amongst a covering of leaves. "However, the defendant, knowing that she would not be able to find the ball because of the leaves, dropped another ball and hit a "mulligan" shot" which went wildly off course and struck the plaintiff in the head. The Court found that since the defendant took a "mulligan" shot without warning the other golfers in her threesome, a jury could reasonably find that "amounted to intentional or reckless conduct that unreasonably increased the risk inherent in golf" which would overcome the assumption of risk defense.

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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