New York’s top court says a college pitcher hit in the face with a line drive at indoor practice accepted the sport’s risk and has rejected his damages claim against Clarkson University and the coach.
The Court of Appeals says Tuesday that consenting participants in sports and amusements assume the risks when they’re aware of them, including less than optimal conditions, while organizers must use reasonable care against concealed or enhanced hazards.
In the case of freshman Shawn Bukowski, who played organized baseball since he was 5 years old, the court notes he’d never before practiced “live” indoors without an L-screen for protection. A batter hit his fastball, breaking Bukowski’s tooth in March 2006.
But the judges say he had watched others pitch and the dangers were readily apparent.