In Osmond v. Hofstra University, et. al, plaintiff was part of a slam dunk contest held at the summer basketball camp. She attempted a dunk and came down awkwardly and suffered a serious injury. Plaintiff sued for negligent supervision and defendants moved to dismiss under a theory of assumption of risk. The lower court denied the defendants’ motions and defendants appealed.
The Second Department Appellate Court reversed and found that plaintiff assumed the risk by voluntarily participating in the dunk contest and an injury is possible when attempting to dunk a basketball. Under the doctrine of primary assumption of risk, “[i]f the risks[of a sporting activity are known by or perfectly obvious to a voluntary participant, he or she has consented to them and the defendant has discharged its duty of care by making the conditions as safe as they appear to be.” The decision was reversed and the defendants were granted summary judgment.
Thanks to Paul Vitale for his contribution to this post and please write to Mike Bono for more information.