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13 Vill. Sports & Ent. L.J. 37 (2006)
Equestrian Immunity and Sport Responsibility Statutes: Altering Obligations and Placing Them on Participants

handle is hein.journals/vse13 and id is 65 raw text is: EQUESTRIAN IMMUNITY AND SPORT RESPONSIBILITY
Compensation for injuries is influenced by a legal system that
facilitates lawsuits based on fault.1 Any inferior service or deviation
from a norm presents an opportunity for litigation based on negli-
gence.2 An aggressive and assertive legal community encourages
dissatisfied individuals to sue others for damages.3 A perusal of re-
ported lawsuits discloses a fixation on blaming others,4 an expan-
sive system for settling disputes, and litigants who do not have a
good idea of how courts will respond to a case.5 Due to the uncer-
tainty, unpleasantness, and expense of litigation, individuals, firms,
and governments feel compelled to adopt defensive measures.6
* Professor, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, The Univer-
sity of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. This research is based on work supported by
the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research, Education, and
Extension Service Project No. GEO00890.
1. See, e.g., Mark Geistfeld, Negligence, Compensation, and the Coherence of Tort
Law, 91 GEO. L.J. 585, 624 (2003) (discussing how courts apportion damages
among multiple injurers based on modern rule of comparative fault); Ellen S.
Pryor, Rehabilitating Tort Compensation, 91 GEO. L.J. 659, 688 (2003) (Compensa-
tion can symbolize public recognition of the transgressor's fault by requiring some-
thing important to be given up on one side and received on the other. (citing
Margaret Jane Radin, Compensation and Commensurability, 43 DuKE LJ. 56, 69
2. E.g., Odenthal v. Minn. Conf. of Seventh-Day Adventists, 649 N.W.2d 426,
436 n.10 (Minn. 2002) (quoting Osborne v. McMasters, 41 N.W. 543, 54-44
(Minn. 1889)) (observing that negligence is breach of duty set by common law or
statute). Specifically, [i]n either case [statute or common law] the failure to per-
form the duty constitutes negligence, and renders the party liable for injuries re-
sulting from it. Id.
3. See, e.g., Paul H. Rubin & MartinJ. Bailey, The Role of Lawyers in Changing the
Law, 23J. LEGAL STUD. 807, 815-16 (1994) (classifying Association of Trial Lawyers
of America (ALTA) as interest group in which plaintiffs' attorneys share informa-
tion and strategies).
4. For a summary of cases that demonstrate fixation on blaming others, see
infra notes 23-31, 49-56, and accompanying text.
5. See James R. Levine, The Federal Tort Claims Act: A Proposal for Institutional
Reform, 100 COLUM. L. REv. 1538, 1558 (2000) (noting first workers' compensation
statutes were adopted to avoid unpredictable tort judgments). These unpredict-
able and arbitrary judgments prevented litigants from reasonably estimating
courts' judgments. See id. at 1558-59 (inferring litigants' inability to predict from
inconsistent judgments).
6. See, e.g., Scott Burris, Dental Discrimination Against the HIV-Infected: Empirical
Data, Law and Public Policy, 13 YALEJ. ON REG. 1, 55-56 (1996) (discussing results of


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