Woo v. United Nations International School


, New York Law Journal


Justice Barbara Jaffe

United Nations International School (UNIS) moved for summary judgment dismissal of the subject personal injury action by Woo. Woo joined a baseball team sponsored by UNIS. Although he had never played a school-organized baseball game before, he was familiar with the game and its associated risks of injury. Woo was injured when he was struck by a ball thrown by teammate DeRosa during "soft toss" warm-ups. UNIS and DeRosa argued they breached no duty of care. Woo claimed the throw was not an inherent risk of the game, but the product of reckless conduct enabled by UNIS's neglect and failure to supervise DeRosa, denying any assumption of risk. The court stated participants in sports did not assume all risks, including those of reckless or intentional conduct. It found UNIS demonstrated that Woo was not injured during a game, but during a pre-game soft-toss warm-up which did not present a dangerous condition above the usual dangers inherent in baseball. The court stated DeRosa's forceful toss did not constitute a unique condition or evidenced a recklessness, despite the seriousness of Woo's injury. It stated defendants showed Woo assumed the risk of injury in voluntarily participating in the warm-up, granting dismissal.

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