The Second Department determined the school district’s motion for summary judgment was properly denied because plaintiff had raised triable questions of fact about whether infant plaintiff assumed the risk of injury in a self-defense tournament and whether the school was negligent in supervising the self-defense tournament:
The infant plaintiff allegedly was injured while competing in her high school’s “self-defense tournament,” a voluntary competition open to female students who were enrolled in a self-defense class taught by Joseph Biddy, a physical education teacher. The self-defense class was one of several electives that female students could take to satisfy the district’s physical education requirement. The plaintiffs allege, inter alia, that, since the self-defense class was in actuality a mixed martial arts class, the defendant breached its duty of care to the infant plaintiff by allowing the class to be instructed by a person with little martial arts training, and allowing that person to referee the tournament. The plaintiffs contend that the infant plaintiff and the other students in the class were not properly or sufficiently trained and that Biddy did not have the requisite knowledge and experience to recognize the dangers posed by the moves being performed in the tournament. * * *
“Pursuant to the doctrine of primary assumption of risk, a voluntary participant in a sporting or recreational activity, consents to those commonly appreciated risks which are inherent in and arise out of the nature of the sport generally and flow from such participation” … . “[T]he plaintiff’s consent does not merely furnish the defendant with a defense; it eliminates the duty of care that would otherwise exist” … . However, the doctrine of primary assumption of risk does not apply to bar a cause of action where the risks at issue were unassumed, concealed, or unreasonably increased … .
On its motion for summary judgment, the defendant failed to establish, prima facie, that by voluntarily participating in the self-defense tournament, the infant plaintiff consented to the risks associated with the move that ultimately caused her injuries. Rather, the defendant’s submissions demonstrated that the risks of the move that ultimately caused the infant plaintiff’s injuries were concealed and unreasonably increased. Pierre v Ramapo Cent Sch Dist, 2015 NY Slip Op 00348, 2nd Dept 1-14-15