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The Complete Defense

Assumption of risk is a complete defense to negligence in some jurisdictions.


Like common-law contributory negligence, it totally bars the plaintiffs recovery.
If the plaintiff assumed the risk, ihc defendant cannot be liable for negligence.
Assumption of the risk is commonly raised in spectator sport situations.
There is a known risk that if you attend a baseball game, you might get hit by a
ball hit into the stands. Likewise, observers of speed car races or demolition
derbies might get hit by a car or piece of equipment hurled into the air. A
spectator assumes these risks with full appreciation of die dangers and thus is
barred from bringing suit as a result of any injuries sustained. Conversely,
consider a situation in which bleachers collapse at a football stadium. Seats
caving in is not a known or foreseeable risk, nor could the dangers be
appreciated; thus, in this case assumption of the risk would not apply and suit
would be allowed.
Assumption of risk is somewhat more difficult to establish than contributory
or comparative negligence. The following example demonstrates how the
elements must be carefully considered.