The California Supreme Court Makes Clear Assumption of Risk Applies To More Than Just Sports

On December 31, 2012, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Nalwa v. Cedar Fair, L.P., __Cal.4th __ (No. S195031 December 31, 2012), previously covered in this blog and this blog. In a 6-1 decision, the Court held that the primary assumption of risk doctrine applies not just to sports, but more broadly to recreational activities. “Where the doctrine applies to a recreational activity, operators, instructors and participants in the activity owe other participants only the duty not to act so as to increase the risk of injury over that inherent in the activity.” The Court held that this limited duty of care not to unreasonably increase the risk of injury over and above that inherent in the low-speed collisions essential to bumper car rides, and does not extend to preventing head-on collisions between the cars.

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