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Thursday, February 18, 2010
WSJ Law Blog on Luge Accident Liability

Ashby Jones from the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog has posted a story on potential legal issues surrounding the tragic death of Georgia luge racer Nodar Kumaritashvili last week in Vancouver. Sports Law Blog former guest Ryan Roderberg, Duke Law Professor Doriane Coleman, and I are quoted in the story. Although the grieving family so far has not indicated interest in a lawsuit, any such claim would appear to face some obstacles due to the available defenses of express, primary, and secondary implied assumption of risk. Given apparent complaints about the track prior to the accident, however, a plaintiff might be able to overcome such obstacles.


Wouldn't the complaints about the track's potential safety problems work against the plaintiff here? If they were discussed widely, that means the young man probably knew there were "safety issues" in this case over and above the normal "safety issues" that are involved with any luge run.

Nevertheless, he got on his slider and went down the hill.

Seems to me to weaken the argument that he did not assume the risk here...

Anonymous The Sports Curmudgeon -- 2/18/2010 12:25 PM  

I am guessing that the waiver has a choice of law clause. But do you know for sure? Since the IOC is Swiss-based, I wonder if lawsuits are limited to Swiss courts and Swiss law. If so, would anyone knew the assumption of risk rules under that nation's laws?

I would like to bring up that question in my class.

Blogger Mark Conrad -- 2/18/2010 7:50 PM  

Constant monitoring traffic system can improve a lot.

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