The Court of Appeals determined defendant youth hockey association could not be held liable for an assault by one spectator on another spectator after the hockey game:
On this record, the criminal assault on plaintiff was not a reasonably foreseeable result of any failure to take preventive measures. While defendant owed a duty to protect spectators from foreseeable criminal conduct, the scope of that duty is defined by the likelihood that the aggressive behavior would lead to a criminal assault. Defendant took measures to address player and spectator conduct. The behavior of the fans, however inappropriate, certainly did not create the risk that failure to eject any specific spectator would result in a criminal assault, particularly since such an assault had never happened before … .
Plaintiff argues that defendant’s failure to enforce the Zero-Tolerance policy by ejecting spectators constitutes independent evidence of negligence. The policy provides that “the on-ice official” will remove spectators using “obscene, racial or vulgar language” from the game. However, the “[v]iolation of a[n] [organization]’s internal rules is not negligence in and of itself” … , and where an internal policy exceeds “the standard of ordinary care,” it “cannot serve as a basis for imposing liability” … . Pink v Rome Youth Hockey Assn., Inc., 2016 NY Slip Op 06946, CtApp 10-25-16
NEGLIGENCE (CRIMINAL ASSAULT BY ONE HOCKEY GAME SPECTATOR AGAINST ANOTHER NOT FORESEEABLE; YOUTH HOCKEY ASSOCIATION NOT NEGLIGEN/ASSAULT (NEGLIGENCE, CRIMINAL ASSAULT BY ONE HOCKEY GAME SPECTATOR AGAINST ANOTHER NOT FORESEEABLE; YOUTH HOCKEY ASSOCIATION NOT NEGLIGENT)/SPECTATORS (HOCKEY GAME, (CRIMINAL ASSAULT BY ONE HOCKEY GAME SPECTATOR AGAINST ANOTHER NOT FORESEEABLE; YOUTH HOCKEY ASSOCIATION NOT NEGLIGENT)