15-year-old Alex Good from Hillsboro, Oregon is suing a local golf course for negligence after he hit himself in the eye with his own golf ball while on the driving range last year. The controversy centers around a rain tent, and a metal pole, placed on the practice tee:
According to court documents, Good and his teammates were using the practice range. It was raining and the staff at Pumpkin Ridge put up an awning. When Good teed off his ball hit a metal post that was holding up the awning just inches in front of his driving mat. The ball ricocheted off and hit him in the left eye.
Good’s lawyer is claiming Pumpkin Ridge should have known that metal pole was a danger and is therefore liable.
At the request of KATU News, another lawyer, Geordie Duckler, looked at the case and said Good’s lawyer has an uphill battle and most cases like this are settled out of court.
“As a person goes up to address the ball with their golf club and strike the ball, what are the known dangers around them? If they see a known and obvious danger and yet they go ahead and strike the ball anyway, then they’ve assumed the risk – what a lawyer would call an assumption of risk,” Duckler said. “Even if it’s a 15-year-old, we hold 15-year-olds to certain levels of responsibility.”
But he said his age could come into play.
“If this were the same facts, but the plaintiff was an experienced golfer in a tournament and knew all sorts of things about golf courses, and the risk of balls being hit, (there) probably would be no claim,” he said.