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the evolution of sport law

SPT 610: Midterm Exam

Answer all of the questions listed.

1. Discuss the evolution of sport law. Provide at least one example as part of your analysis.

2. Review the following information:

FACTS: Mariana Shaw was a sophomore at Stanford University. She was a talented tennis player who had earned a full four-year athletic scholarship. Last year, she attended a Stanford- USC football game with two friends. She left the game early to go to the library to study for her Sport Law midterm. She walked through a Stanford University parking lot on her way to the library and noticed two men who appeared to be drunk and fighting. The two men were walking away from each other when one of them staggered and fell into Mariana from behind, tearing the ACL in her left knee. There were no security personnel from Stanford in the area when the injury occurred.

Shaw sued Stanford alleging that she, as a business invitee, should have been protected by Stanford from the act of this third party. Stanford argued that it had no liability absent any actual notice of a particular danger to a patron.

The trial court granted Stanford’s motion for summary judgment.

HOLDING: The California Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case back to the trial court.

a. Justify the trial court’s decision to grant summary judgment.

b. Why do you think the Appellate Court did not agree with the trial court’s decision?

3. Review the following information:

Homer Foster took his family (7-year-old son Bart, 9-year-old daughter Lisa, and wife Marge) to see the New Hampshire Fisher Cats baseball team. A colleague from the Southern New Hampshire University Sport Management department gave him four tickets to the game and told him to bring baseball gloves because the seats were in the first row behind the first base dugout. It was a rainy day but the umpires decided to let the game be played. Only Homer and Marge had been to a baseball game before. Between the third and fourth innings, Bart volunteered to participate in a promotional event to run around the bases against the team mascot. Bart, in a state of confusion, turned around and ran into the mascot upon reaching second base, sustaining a concussion and a broken arm. Bart, being a tough kid, returned to his seat, put on his iPod, and watched the rest of the game. In the sixth inning, the mascot came over to see how Bart was doing, and then Bart and Lisa played with the mascot. While the visiting team was throwing the ball around between plays, and while Lisa and Bart were being distracted by the mascot, the shortstop accidentally threw the wet, slippery ball over the first baseman and into the stands, hitting Lisa in the face and breaking her nose. Homer finished his fifth beer, which he had just purchased from the same beer vendor, and immediately left with Bart, Lisa, and Marge to go to the hospital. In his rush to get to the hospital, he hit a school bus carrying Girl Scouts, seriously injuring the bus driver and two of the scouts. The bus driver was driving 10 miles per hour over the speed limit and his driver’s license was under suspension due to his recent conviction for operating a motor vehicle under the influence (alcohol-related).

Discuss the potential plaintiffs, defendants, and theories of liability and likely defenses as a result of these facts. Brief one of the possible lawsuits.

4. Review the following information:

The plaintiff, Michael Wildman, sued the defendant, Mount Manchester, LLC for injuries he suffered while skiing at the defendant’s ski area. The plaintiff alleged that he “went off the trail and descended into the woods.” The plaintiff’s expert witness testified that he struck “…either a rock, stumps, cut log or tree.” The expert also cited several “failures” of the defendant including inadequate construction and maintenance of the ski trails; inadequate warnings, markings and directions; inadequate channeling of skiers; inadequate safety measures and risk reduction policies; inadequate inspection; and inadequate training, supervision, and management of personnel.

Use New Hampshire law (RSA 225-A:23 and 225-A:24) to assist in your analysis.

a. What does the plaintiff have to prove?
b. What defenses does the ski area have?
c. Discuss whether you think the ski area has any liability.

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