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San Diego: An Expensive Tee Shot

San Diego has many golf courses. Some are public and some are private. One of them is the Balboa Park Golf Course and there are many other and included is a site for assistance in finding San Diego Golf Courses.

For some, golf courses are like outdoor board rooms. The emphasis is as much on conducting business as it is on lowering handicaps. But if business transactions have taken priority over the game itself, there is a risk that an injury caused by some one’s negligence can have repercussions for the firm’s bottom line.

A member of a golf club invited a guest for a round of golf and a sales pitch as to why he should come to work for the member’s family business. The guest was new to golf, and his host did not fill him in about basic golf etiquette. The guest teed off on the first hole when another golfer on the same hole was only about 70 yards down the fairway. The tee shot struck the golfer in the eye, causing permanent partial loss of vision and a scar.

The injured golfer sued the club member for negligence for not controlling her guest, as required under the club’s rules. She argued that the member did not meet her duty of stopping her guest from teeing off before the fairway was clear. In fact, the member had hit first, giving her uninitiated guest the impression that he could do the same.

Before the case could get to a jury, it was settled for a substantial amount. Most of the settlement cost was borne by the club member’s family business, because the golf outing was as much for recruiting an employee as for recreation. This case suggests the need for company policies requiring employees to supervise their guests when entertaining on a golf course, including a basic review of golf etiquette and safety for novice golfers.

If you have questions regarding any legal matter, please feel free to contact our firm of Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation, LLP. You can call or e mail our firm. If we cannot assist you in the area of the law that you are seeking, we can assist you with a complimentary consultation with an attorney referred by the Lawyer Referral Service of the San Diego County Bar Association.

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