Legal Question in Personal Injury in North Carolina

golfball dilema

While driving home on city street that is right next to hole #7 City golf course, my truck was hit by golf ball from City golf course. $500 damage. Found golfer, golfer won't pay. Got a sm. claims judgement for $500 against golfer. Small claims cost $425.00. Still dent in truck. Out a total of $925.00. So, I have a lean on his property. Woopie. This guy ain't sellin' his trailor anytime soon.

City Ins. adjuster says they are not liable and quoted ''Everett vs goodwin 1931'', NC supreme court. When golf course was built (1949,) the road next to the course was an existing farm road on a farm that the golf course was built on. The City grew and paved the road which became a major thoroughfare. City golf course worker was quoted ''we average one hit every other week (per year) mostly concentrated in the summer months.

Is the City liable since they created the hazard by paving the old dirt road?

Asked on 4/01/05, 2:07 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Kirby Law Offices of John M. Kirby
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Re: golfball dilema

The question is not entirely clear. The primary question seems to be the liability of the City. A city often has "immunity" from such claims, but for a couple of reasons I initially doubt that this is a problem here. The bigger issue is that of the city's "negligence." The city has quoted a case in which a golfer was struck with a ball. Interestingly, in that case golf course was held liable and the N.C. Supreme Court affirmed the ruling. The only aspect of that case which helps the City is that it establishes a "negligence" standard (as opposed to, e.g. "strict liability"). You must therefore show negligence. In your case, you have a good argument that in view of the number of incidents (twenty-six per year) that they should erect a net or screen. You may want to either continue your claim with them, or consult a lawyer. As for the golfer, first, it sounds like you have a judgment, and therefore you have not only a lien, but a judgment against him (not only his car), to the extent he has any collectible assets. Secondly, I don't see how small claims court can cost $425 without a lawyer.

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4/03/05, 12:27 am

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