This week New Jersey trial court ruled that a golfer who hits a shanked shot without yelling “fore” may be held responsible as acting reckless on the golf course. Be guided accordingly.
The following was reported in the New Jersey Law Journal.
36-3-2727 Corrino v. Duffy, Law Div. – Essex Co. (Vena, J.S.C.) (6 pp.) This case arises from an incident wherein Plaintiff Corino was seriously injured while playing golf. Plaintiff filed a motion requesting that the court modify the order in which the court affirmed the heightened “recklessness” standard for tort liability in recreational sports and released two of the Defendants, Chovanec and Schweizer, from the case. The court granted summary judgment in favor of Chovanec and Schweizer on the grounds that neither player was obligated to yell “fore” following Defendant Duffy’s shanked shot, and that a determination of “recklessness” in any sports activity must be based on the conduct and mental state of the actor – here, Duffy. In the two motions before the court, plaintiff seeks to have the court reconsider Chovanec and/or Schweizer’s potential liability by applying a standard of ordinary negligence and Duffy moves for summary judgment. The court affirms that recklessness, not negligence, is the proper standard to be applied. Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration of the court’s prior order is denied. The court finds that the disputed facts, when construed in a light most favorable to Plaintiff, are sufficient to lead a jury to conclude that Duffy’s conduct involving the errant shot was reckless under the circumstances. Duffy’s motion for summary judgment is denied.