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Injured during sporting activity

  • 10-03-2022 8:09am
    Registered Users Posts: 1,049 ✭✭✭

    Hypothetically Speaking, If someone is seriously injured due to the negligence of another player during an "informal" "friendly" game between 2 recognised clubs... Who is responsible


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,725 ✭✭✭✭Ash.J.Williams

    assault is a criminal offence, if it's a sporting injury you may apply for expenses or if you're not very sporting I'm sure you can take it further down the legal route

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    The OP specified negligence; an injury inflicted through negligence would not normally suggest an assault, which requires intention.

    OP, you specify that the injury occurs during a game between two "recognised clubs". Most sporting associations carry, or require their clubs to carry, insurance which should cover liability for injury arising through a player's negligence when engaged in a club game. I don't think it should make any difference that the game is informal or friendly. I think your first port of call is a claim against the club to which the negligent player belongs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 125 ✭✭MikeCairo78

    Most insurance policies carry a participation exclusion nowadays

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭NUTLEY BOY

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭NUTLEY BOY

    OP when you describe an "informal friendly" does that mean that it was not a formal fixture organised by the respective clubs ?

    If the fixture was not a formal one I wonder if the public liability policy of the negligent player's club would operate. The insurance underwriters might argue that such an activity was outside the scope of club activities which the policy covered e.g. a liability incurred in an unofficial game might be seen, in principle, as being like to hurting someone in a kick about on the beach.

    BTW I assume that the policy gives a personal indemnity to each club member for their individual negligence in the course of a club activity. This would be important as the primary liability for the injury rests with the player who caused it. That player's club would not be expected to have a vicarious liability for his actions.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,049 ✭✭✭TimHorton

    It was arranged between the clubs as a friendly/pre-season type fixture.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭NUTLEY BOY

    That being the case I would expect the negligent player's liability to fall within the scope of his club's PL policy. However, I am at a disadvantage in that I don't know how the club's PL policy is written - that would determine if it actually applies. To repeat an earlier point, much would depend on whether or not the policy provides individual indemnity to each club member.

    BTW it is assumed that the negligent player and the injured player were not on the same team. If they were on the same team there might be a few insurance gymnastics involved to sort that out.

    Side bar point on the issue of assault. Some clashes on the field of play are assaults that are not excusable on the basis of volenti non fit injuria. Assault can also form the basis of a personal injuries action in tort. If the injured party in this case took the assault line the defendant's insurance underwriters might not grant an indemnity to the player causing the injury on the basis that most PL insurance contracts are written on the basis of indemnity in respect of accidental injury. Hint - sue in negligence only 😉.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭Mongfinder General

    If you were tackled and injured then your club’s insurance should cover medical costs.

    If an opposing player bet the bollocks out of you then you can try taking him/her to court.

  • Administrators, Entertainment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,689 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭hullaballoo

    At a guess, I would think it's an exclusion from cover for incidents arising from events in which you participate willingly.

    Conceptually similar to voluntary assumption of risk and the exclusion of liability for negligence when you take part in an activity that is inherently risky like playing contact/semi-contact sports etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 472 ✭✭UrbanFox

    Which insurance ? Presumably some form of medical / personal accident type policy.

    If an opposing player did that their public liability insurance cover would probably not cover them - see post #8 above.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭NUTLEY BOY

    Got it.

    I was thinking in terms of public liability type insurance but I see your point in relation to other types of insurance policies.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,163 ✭✭✭fatherted1969

    Think in gaa an official referee has to be in charge of the game or else player insurance could be an issue

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,078 ✭✭✭BnB

    Yeah, in the GAA now there is no such thing as an off the cuff challenge any more. If you are playing a challenge match now, you must register it with your county board (and at provincial/national level if the team you are playing is not from your own county / province). You just let them know the date/venue and who the (qualified) referee is.

    One of the big changes about going this way now is that any sanctions (i.e. Red cards) picked up in these games will now count and you can get suspended etc the same if it is was a league/championship game. In the past, challenge matches did some times turn into a bit of a free for all because lads knew they wouldn't get any suspension if they were sent off.

    If you don't go through the process of letting the board know about a game and using a proper ref, then if anything happens during the match, the players are not covered by the clubs insurance

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,661 ✭✭✭whippet

    I know that some of the Soccer leagues also insist that any friendly are sanctioned by the league - in practice that doesn't always happen and I'm not sure how insurance policies cater for that.

    First port of call is to the club to make a claim against the insurance policy. What the policy covers, excludes requires will only be heresay until you actually see it.

    Also - I believe that you may have to be a member (as in paid up and registered) to be covered on most club policies. If you are not a member then the only course of action may be taking a civil action against the club itself and you'd have to prove negligence etc.

    It may well be the case that at pre-season stage in the year many players haven't been registered

  • Registered Users Posts: 125 ✭✭MikeCairo78

    Just as an fyi most most club policies will have a liability section which covers the clubs negligence.

    There will also be a benefit section, if a happens, then b gets paid out - ie if you suffer a broken leg, an agreed benefit is paid out - this is a benefit policy thereby paying out regardless of negligence.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,891 ✭✭✭Eggs For Dinner

    The OP has not detailed the nature of the alleged negligence. An injury during the usual rough and tumble of participating in a game would not be sufficient to claim under a public liability policy. Neither would any deliberate action by a player, such as one player boxing the head off an opponent

    After that, you are relying on any personal accident policy the club you are a member of, may have

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    It's a mistake to think that a policy that covers liability for negligence will not cover liablity for an intentionally-inflicted injury. It will.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,891 ✭✭✭Eggs For Dinner

    There are specific exclusions on many sporting policies for deliberate actions. Those that don't have them would probably need testing in court on a case by case basis

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,745 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭NUTLEY BOY

    I am curious about this point.

    Many liability type insurance contracts that I have seen have a wording specifying that cover operates in respect of accidental bodily injury or death at al.

    If the act of the player was intentional, as distinct from accidental, would that not take the matter outside the scope of the policy ?

    Side bar thought. Suppose that the act in question was deliberate and that the player was actually convicted of assault in a criminal court. Would it not be contrary to public policy to provide an indemnity in respect of the criminal act ?

    Ultimately, I suppose that much depends on the actual wording of the policy.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    We need to distinguish between two different kinds of insurance here.

    I can take out insurance for myself, to provide me with cover if I am injured. (Or a group of people - like a sports club - can take out such insurance together.) That might well cover accidental injury, but contain an exclusion for injury resulting from unusual dangers that I deliberately expose myself to.

    Or, I can take out liability insurance, which will compensate someone else if I injure him, and he sues me because his injury is my fault. This will not contain an exemption if I injure him not merely negligently, but recklessly or intentionally; the whole point of the insurance is that he should be compensated for injuries that are my fault, and it makes no sense at all to effect insurance which compensates him if my fault is negligence, but not if it is recklessness or malice.

    The OP specifies that he was injured through the negligence of another player, so I think the kind of insurance we are looking at here is liability insurance, not accident insurance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,281 ✭✭✭Lenar3556

    It would depend on the facts.

    While it may not be very sporting, you could pursue both the individual and the club jointly. Ultimately the club or their insurer would likely be the ones footing the bill for any successful action for damages.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    So a formal friendly.

    You might want to give more info on the hypothetical scenario.

  • Registered Users Posts: 125 ✭✭MikeCairo78

    Again from a insurance point of view, all policies will have a "willful acts" or "intentional act" exclusion.

    What you are suggesting is that someone can take out an insurance policy and then decide to assault someone and have their liability for the same covered - they cant, and it would go against the public good if they could

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,168 ✭✭✭✭callaway92

    It's things like this where I (have said before here numerous times) that ALL matches should have video footage. Intercounty boards should be providing all teams with a camera etc.

    That at least then allows for accountability of events rather than relying on referee reports etc.