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NY Appellate Court Denies School District’s Application To Dismiss Student’s Injury Case

June 1, 2012

PERSONAL INJURY. PRIMARY ASSUMPTION OF RISK. GIRLS’ HIGH SCHOOL SOFTFALL VARISTY BASEBALL TEAM. SLIDE. IMPROPERLY ANCHORED BASE. Plaintiff, a softball player on a girls’ high school varsity team, injured her left ankle when she slid into one of the pointed edges of second base during a game. Plaintiff alleged that the defendant school district’s maintenance personnel negligently anchored the base by positioning it so that one of its pointed edges, instead of a flush side, faced the base path. The district moved for summary judgment under the primary assumption of risk doctrine. In opposition, plaintiff submitted the depositions of the defendant’s employees, who acknowledged that an improperly positioned base would be a hazard for a baserunner during a slide. Order denying the district’s motion is affirmed. The district failed to establish its prima facie entitlement to summary judgment because it did not demonstrate that: (1) the base was properly positioned; (2) the plaintiff was aware of the allegedly improper positioning of the base; (3) the condition was otherwise open and obvious; and (4) the improper positioning did not unreasonably increase the risk of injury. Viola v. Carmel Central School District. Decided 5/23/12

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