Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hackbart v. Cincinnati Bengals, Inc. case brief

Hackbart v. Cincinnati Bengals, Inc. case brief summary
601 F.2d 516 (1979)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff sought review of a judgment entered for defendants in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado in which the court held tort concepts did not apply to plaintiff's injuries received during football game and evidence of plaintiff's prior football conduct was admitted.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiff was a professional football player who was injured by defendant football player after plaintiff blocked defendant player. Defendant player hit the back of plaintiff's head in frustration, which defendant player admitted was intentional.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Trial court held for defendants stating that football was beyond the realm of imposition of the law for tortious conduct and that plaintiff assumed the risk inherent in the game as well as contributed to his injuries. Plaintiff appealed claiming the trial court erred in failing to apply tort principals to the action and evidence of plaintiff's prior game conduct was improperly admitted at trial.

DISCUSSION

  • The reviewing court reversed and remanded for a new trial holding where no law denied application of tort law to the claim, the court erred in denying plaintiff's claims. 
  • Evidence of plaintiff's prior football conduct was irrelevant to the act in question and improperly admitted where plaintiff was not the aggressor.

CONCLUSION
The reviewing court reversed trial court's judgment for defendant and remanded for a new trial holding where no law prevented the application of tort concepts to football, plaintiff had right to have his tort claims adjudicated and evidence of plaintiff's prior football conduct was irrelevant to claims and improperly admitted.

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