Assault in Recreational Sports
By: Brent Meadows
Personal Injury and Sports
Recreational sports are a great source of fitness and fun. When we play sports we understand that certain risks may be involved. When people play in any form of organized sports they are consenting to some sort of risk. For example, in hockey, participants consent to some form of bodily contact and the consequential risk of injury that may arise from that. Further, ‘voluntary of assumption of risk’ is a legal principle meaning that incidental or accidental contact that falls within the rules of the game are consented to.
Who is responsible for sports injuries?
But what happens when a participant is injured when another player acts well outside of the rules of the game? We know that players are responsible for their actions as evidenced in the Todd Bertuzzi matter. Recreational players should find it reassuring that if another participant acts well outside the scope of the game causing serious personal injuries they will be responsible for any resulting damages including, but not limited to, economic losses.
Liability and compensation in sports injuries.
The severe repercussions that an individual may face when acting outside of the scope of the game was recently evidenced in Leighton v. Best where the Superior Court of Justice found the respondent liable in damages for battery on the basis that the punch exceeded the scope of the appellant’s consent. The respondent went bankrupt before satisfying the damage (compensation) award owed to the appellants. Occasionally, when a party goes bankrupt certain debts are eliminated or waived. However, in 2015 the Ontario Court of Appeal in Leighton held that the damage award in this particular circumstance survives bankruptcy.
If you have been injured in a sporting activity, it’s important you inform yourself of your rights. Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers would be happy to discuss
with you your injuries and options in pursuing compensation.