Assumption of Risk Blog

Primary Assumption of Risk - its origins in California

Over the years, I have done quite a bit of work involving the doctrine of Primary Assumption of Risk (sometimes referred to as implied assumption of risk), mostly in the recreational sporting context. What I want to do in this series of articles is provide an overview of the law and point you to cases where the California courts have applied the Primary Assumption of Risk doctrine.

Supreme Court Defines Primary Assumption Of Risk

In 1992, the California Supreme Court solved the ambiguity in the aftermath of Li v. Yellow Cab (1975) 13 Cal.3d 804 when it issued two decisions in the companion cases of Knight v. Jewett (1992) 3 Cal. 4th 296, and Ford v. Gouin (1992) 3 Cal. 4th 339. In those cases, the Court confirmed that the doctrine of implied assumption of risk was, indeed, still alive and well following the Li v. Yellow Cab decision, and announced the rule that: "In cases involving 'primary assumption of risk'--where, by virtue of the nature of the activity and the parties' relationship to the activity, the defendant owes no legal duty to protect the plaintiff from the particular risk of harm that caused the injury--the doctrine continues to operate as a complete bar to the plaintiff's recovery."

Syndicate content