August 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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www.spor 12 // August 2017 M y goal in this article is to help readers learn about the Theory of Liability and Standard of Care as they relate to the responsibility of administra- tors, facility managers, athletic directors and coaches to provide safe and playable athletic facilities. Theory of Liability There are four factors that make up a complete Theory of Liability: Dangerous Condition. A dangerous (or improper) condition must exist (if someone trips and falls on a sidewalk and is injured, but there are no cracks or unevenness or anything that makes it irregular or dangerous, there is no liability. Causation. The dangerous (or improper) condition must have caused the incident (and injuries or damages). Maybe the sidewalk was cracked and uneven in one spot, but the injured party tripped and fell somewhere else/ nearby, then there is no liability. Notice. Must be established that the defendant(s) either knew or should have known, with typical/proper/ reasonable attentiveness (consistent with the actions of a reasonable man and/or the normal standard of care) of the dangerous (or improper) condition. Alternatively, if the defendant(s) created the dangerous/ improper condition, this covers or is considered notice. Standard of Care. What would a reasonable person do? It must be shown that the defendant(s) violated the typical/normal standard of care. Often the expert, who should have relevant knowledge and/or experience, establishes the standard of care (of/for the defendant[s]) and then opines on whether or not it was violated. The defi nition of "standard of care" is the watchfulness, attention, caution and IS YOUR FACILITY SAFE? // By SCOTT BILLS, CSFM X-ray of the plaintiff/author's resulting broken leg. Plaintiff breaks his left leg after sliding into second base on an improp- erly maintained synthetic baseball field.

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