Assumption of risk


Assumption of risk

Assumption of risk is a defense in the law of torts, which bars a plaintiff from recovery against a negligent tortfeasor if the defendant can demonstrate that the plaintiff voluntarily and knowingly assumed the risks at issue inherent to the dangerous activity in which he was participating at the time of his injury.

What is usually meant by assumption of risk is more precisely termed "primary" assumption of risk. It occurs when the plaintiff has either expressly or impliedly relieved the defendant of the duty to mitigate or relieve the risk causing the injury from which the cause of action arises. It operates as a complete bar to liability on the theory that upon assumption of the risk, there is no longer a duty of care running from the defendant to the plaintiff; without a duty owed by the defendant, there can be no negligence on his part. ["Knight v. Jewett", [http://online.ceb.com/CalCases/C4/3C4t296.htm 3 Cal. 4th 296] , 314-315 (1992).] However, primary assumption of risk is not a blanket exemption from liability for the operators of a dangerous activity. The "specific" risk causing the injury must have been known to, and appreciated by, the plaintiff in order for primary assumption of risk to apply. Also, assumption of risk does not absolve a defendant of liability for reckless conduct. ["Cheong v. Antablin", [http://online.ceb.com/CalCases/C4/16C4t1063.htm 16 Cal. 4th 1067] (1997).]

This defense is commonly used in cases of injuries occurring during risky recreational activities, such as skiing, paragliding, and scuba diving.

"Secondary" assumption of risk is a rather different doctrine akin in some respects to comparative negligence. The difference was explained by the Supreme Court of California as follows:

References

ee also

*Consent
*"Volenti non fit injuria"


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • assumption of risk — as·sump·tion of risk: a doctrine that a person may in advance relieve another person of the obligation to act towards him or her with due care and may accept the chance of being injured; also: an affirmative defense that the plaintiff cannot… …   Law dictionary

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  • assumption of risk — The doctrine of assumption of risk, also known as volenti non fit injuria, means legally that a plaintiff may not recover for an injury to which he assents, i.e., that a person may not recover for an injury received when he voluntarily exposes… …   Black's law dictionary

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  • voluntary assumption of risk — See assumption of risk …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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  • risk — n 1 a: possibility of loss or injury b: liability for loss or injury if it occurs the risk of loss passes to the buyer when the goods are duly delivered to the carrier Uniform Commercial Code the risk of personal injury and property damage should …   Law dictionary

  • assumption — I (adoption) noun acceptance, acquisition, receiving, reception, recipience, selection, taking on, undertaking associated concepts: assumpsit on quantum meruit, assumption agreement, assumption of debt, assumption of facts, assumption of… …   Law dictionary