February 19, 2016

Hackbart v. Cincinnati Bengals, Inc. | Case Brief - 601 F.2d 516, cert. denied, 444 U.S. 931, 100 S.Ct. 275, 62 L.Ed.2d 188 (1979) - US Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit

FACTS: During the course of the football game Charles Clark "stepped forward and struck a blow w/ his right forearm to the back of the kneeling plaintiff's head and neck to cause both players to fall to the ground."

HISTORY: Trial Court found Clark acted w/ intent.

ISSUE: "Whether in a regular season professional football game an injury which is inflicted by one professional football player on an opposing player can give rise to liability in tort where the injury was inflicted by the intentional striking of a blow during the game." (91)

HOLDING: No

RATIONALE: Trial court ruled "professional football is basically a business which is violent in nature, and that the available sanctions are imposition of penalties and explusion from the game." (92)  Evidence was not weighed according to the defendant's liability but to the social policy of the game.

DISPOSITION: Reversed and remanded for a new trail.