If you or someone you know is planning a birthday party for your kid, complete with balloons, cake, and games, you should maybe reconsider after you hear this: Grant Ledyard – a former NHL player for the Buffalo Sabres – and his wife Elizabeth were just trying to be good parents when they hosted their son’s 11th birthday party at their home back in 2003. That’s right. 12 years ago. The couple is being sued by young woman who lost her tooth after she was hit by a little kid with a plastic golf club. The facts are as follows:
- The incident occurred in 2003. The girl, Brianna Fasanello, was 11 years old at the time of the incident the time.
- The specifics of how the incident happened are in dispute but it is not in dispute that Fasanello was hit in the mouth by a 4 year old boy while he was taking a back-swing with a plastic golf club.
- The Ledyards rented the golf game and set it up in backyard, complete with Velcro balls and a Velcro wall.
- Fasanello is now 23 years old, a graduate of college, and filed the lawsuit 2 years ago because the statute of limitations allows for a cause of action to begin after the plaintiff turns 18.
- Fasanello now claims the Ledyards failed to supervise and allowed a hazardous condition on their property.
- Earlier this month, the judge denied the Ledyard’s motion for summary judgment, allowing the case to proceed, and stated in part (per News staff reporter Patrick Lakamp):
The Ledyards have made excellent arguments as to why they should not be responsible for the actions of a four year old or of an eleven year old and as to doctrine of assumption of risk. However, Mr. Ledyard stopped monitoring the golf game at the time the accident occurred. Mrs. Ledyard testified the plaintiff was inattentive and walked into the golf swing. Which would indicate the cause of the accident was a lack of supervision and not an unpredictable golf swing. Therefore, there is a question of fact as to the negligence of the Ledyards and as to the proximate cause of their negligence in light of the plaintiff’s injuries.
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