Dangerous recreational activities are not exempt from liability.
That includes paint ball games, bungee jumping, and zip lines.
Routinely, defendant will claim that the injured person assumed the risk of injury. Therefore, the injured person’s case should be dismissed.
The injured person has the burden of proof that there was either negligence or a dangerous condition at the facility. However, the mere fact that the activity is dangerous will not defeat the case.For example, we had a case where a person was injured playing paint ball war in Staten Island. Inherently, this is a dangerous activity. A high speed paint ball packs a wallop.
In paint ball, a group divides into two teams, and they play a war game. The objective is to hit a “soldier” from the other side. The person hit by the paint ball is deemed killed and is taken out of the battle.Each player is supposed to wear eye protection. Our client could not fit the goggles over his head due to his voluminous dreadlocks. He brought this to attention of a staff member, but the staff member allowed him to play with loose goggles.
During the battle, his goggles fell off, and he raised his arm to signal to the referee to stop the shooting for a “cease fire.” This is part of the rules. The referee failed to do, and the client was struck in the eye with a paint ball. This caused eye problems which required ongoing treatment.
Even though the paint ball operator claimed that the client assumed the risk of injury in a dangerous (and indeed foolhardy) sport, we were able to raise the issue that the referees failed to stop the game and to keep order. We obtained an excellent settlement.
Therefore, even where the activity is dangerous, do not dismiss the pursuit of a case. A significant injury from a hazardous sport should be investigated.