Bukowski V. Clarkson University Case Study

2119 Words 9 Pages
Bukowski v. Clarkson University In 2012, the case of Bukowski v. Clarkson University made it all the way to the highest New York state court. This case involved the plaintiff, Shawn Bukowski, suing his school on the grounds of negligence by the defendant (Lippman, 2012). Shawn Bukowski was a pitcher for the baseball team at Clarkson University, where, during an indoor practice, was hit by a line drive in the jaw and sustained an injury. Bukowski felt that Clarkson University and their baseball coach had acted negligently and put him in unreasonable risk of harm, because there were conditions on the field that enhanced his risk to sustaining this type of injury (Lippman, 2012). This lawsuit was dismissed on grounds of assumption of risk in …show more content…
One of the core legal protections against negligence is the assumption of risk. This is where the risk that the participant puts himself in is inherent to the sport and there is not a way to prevent that risk unless the sport is fundamentally altered (Lecture Notes). For example, a football player cannot complain about being tackled when they have the ball, because tackling is a fundamental element in football and it comes with the sport, so there is no way to eliminate that risk without changing the game. In assumption of risk cases, the defense needs to show two things. The first is that the participant voluntarily consented to be exposed to the risk (Lecture Notes). In this case, nobody forced Bukowski to go pitch, and if he wanted to sit out, he could have. However, he voluntarily decided to participate and be exposed to that risk. The second element is that the participant must know, understand, and appreciate the risks (Lecture Notes). There are two ways to assume risk: expressed assumption and implied assumption. Expressed is where the participant uses language, either oral or written, that they assumed the risks of the activity and chose to participate anyway (Spengler et al., 2016). Implied is more relevant to this case. This is where the participants actions show that they voluntarily assumed the risk of the activity by participating in that said activity (Lecture Notes). Looking at the football player example again, if a participant had played football for many years, they cannot claim they did not know the risk of being tackled, because simply by participating in the sport for a long period of time, they showed implied assumption of the risk of that sport. Another defense that the defendant could argue is that of unforeseeable consequence. This is essentially a policy in place for freak accidents, which could not have been predicted or foreseen by a reasonable

Related Documents