Cyclists Don’t Assume the Risk of Bad Roads (NY)

Generally, participants in sporting activities are found to assume those risks which are inherent to that sport. Risks inherent in a sporting activity are those which are known, apparent, natural, or reasonably foreseeable consequences of the participation.

In Cotty v. Town of South Hampton, plaintiff, a cyclist, was injured while avoiding a road defect. The defendants argued that plaintiff assumed the risk and moved to dismiss. A New York appellate court held that, as a matter of law, a cyclist does not assume the risk of a negligently maintained roadway. The Court held that, unlike situations involving mountain biking or off-road riding, an irregular surface is not a challenge that should be part of the sport.