Applied Assumption of Risk

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MEMORANDUM TO: Larry Craig FROM: Applicant RE: Adair v. Oldfield, Implied Assumption of Risk DATE: January 5, 2014 ISSUES 1) Whether the risks that Adair faced were inherent in the activity of rock climbing? 2) Which statements by Williams would be admissible at trial? BRIEF ANSWERS 1) Yes. Defendant owes no duty to protect Adair from the harm he alleges because an inherent risk of rock climbing includes the negligence of co-participants as well as the danger of falling. 2) At trial, Williams will be able to offer his opinion as to the cause of the accident, but will be barred from any testimony regarding any risks inherent to the sport of rock climbing. 1. IMPLIED ASSUMPTION OF RISK OF INJURY The Supreme…show more content…
In Handleman, the plaintiff alleged that he could not have foreseen that he could be injured by exposed outcropping of rock. Handleman at 13. Similarly, plaintiff Adair alleges that “none of us bargained on putting our lives on the line by climbing without an anchor on a practice climb.” The court in Handleman forecloses this line of inquiry into foreseeability by reasoning that assumption of risk does not require “clairvoyance to forsee the exact accident and injury that in fact occurs.” Id. Consequently, the court held that all that is required to prove assumption of risk is that the injury “be within the range of possibilities.” Id. Falling is certainly within the range of possibility for anyone who is climbing high up on a rock formation, and therefore Adair assumed the risk of falling in the instant case. CONCLUSION Defendant owes no duty to protect Adair from the harm he alleges because an inherent risk of rock climbing includes the negligence of co-participants as well as the danger of falling. 2. ADMISSIBILITY OF EXPERT TESTIMONY The Staten court, following Knight, held that the question of duty is a legal question that must be determined by the court. Staten at 7. Consequently, experts may not give opinions on matters that are for the court to decide. Id. Staten held that the trial court erred by admitting expert testimony regarding whether being cut with a co-participant’s skate was an

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