Monday, October 22, 2018

Assumption of Risk Doctrine Supports Summary Judgment in Dirt Bike Accident case


In the case of Hawkins v. Switchback Mx., No. 2:16-CV-1719 (W.D. Pa. Sept. 12, 2018 Connor, J.), the court granted summary judgment in favor of a Defendant after ruling, by statute, that an operator of an off-road vehicle riding area has no duty to protect the riders from the well-known risks inherent to the activity, such as collisions and falls.  

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff injured himself when he made an unsuccessful jump on his dirt bike on an indoor track.  The Plaintiff was noted to have a decade of experience.

This court also affirmed the continuing validity of the assumption of risk doctrine by finding that the Plaintiff’s participation in this sport constituted an assumption of the risks involved as a matter of law. 

The court noted that the Plaintiff in this matter was experienced in the sport of dirt bike racing and was well aware that such activity had a risk of serious injury or death.  The court additionally reaffirmed the rule that a minor is capable of assuming the risk of a dangerous activity in certain circumstances.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.  The Court's Order in the case can be viewed HERE.

I send thanks to Attorney James M. Beck, of the Philadelphia office of the Reed Smith law firm and the writer of the excellent Drug and Device Law blog for bringing this case to my attention.

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