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Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Hunc T. Caveto

While I do not know who you may be thinking of, I would like to take this opportunity to remind all about the negligence defense called "assumption of risk." Perhaps a hypo will help illuminate its applicability in a negligent dancing case.
Mr. X and Ms. Y attend a backyard party. Ms. Y witnesses Mr. X consuming copious amounts of alcohol (for instance drinking in excess of 40 ounces of malt liquor). Ms. Y also witnesses Mr. X smoking a cigar. If Ms. Y proceeds to begin dancing with Mr. X while a likely inebriated Mr. X continues to hold a lit cigar in his mouth and Ms. Y comes into contact with said cigar, Ms. Y has assumed the risk of any resulting burns, as well as any further damage arising out of Mr. Z's actions in attacking such burn wound.


I've heard of this example before. In assumption of risk circles, it's referred to as "caveat ignitor", a/k/a the "Racine Hickey".

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