Tue, May. 20, 2003

German Supreme Court on Sports Law

JN - Washington.   The German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof in Zivilsachen, case no. VI ZR 321/02) ruled on April 1, 2003 that a contestant in a car race may not seek damages from another participant for an injury sustained in the race.

With that ruling, the Court followed an earlier decision in a soccer case, where one player had sued another player for injuries suffered as a result of the other's foul play. The court held that all soccer players know the likelihood of injuries even without infraction of any rules. Therefore, claiming damages was a contradictory action, the Court said, because the plaintiff could have found himself in the same situation as the defendant.

In the new case, the Court extends this logic to all potentially dangerous physical sports where injuries or damages are likely to occur by accident without the violation of rules.

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