Millions of professional and amateur athletes are injured in the U.S. every year, with Illinois having more than its fair share of serious examples. Most people would agree that while players assume the typical risks of rough contact, a line has been crossed when an opponent carves the skin off the face of a downed opponent with a player’s football cleats, demolishes a quarterback’s arm after a play is over, pummels an opposing NBA player within inches of his life, and paralyzes a high school hockey opponent.
In his July Illinois Bar Journal article, “Unnecessary Roughness,” Eldon Ham shows how Illinois relies on the contact-sports exception to carve simple negligence from matters of more culpable, actionable conduct. Ham documents how some courts, including in Illinois, are rethinking assumption-of-the-risk arguments for game injuries. Some recent decisions are taking the issue beyond the usual contact-sports exception and applying new assumption-of-the-risk standards for full-contact sports.
Read "Unnecessary Roughness" in the July IBJ.