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Pastaboy62
07-31-2008, 09:31 AM
Take a look at this..

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008807310583


Errant golf ball scores $725,000 settlement

FARMINGDALE — An Eatontown man has been awarded $725,000 for an eye injury he suffered after being struck by flying glass when a golf ball traced back to the Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club here struck his car window.

Thomas Guhl will receive $650,000 from the golf club and an additional $37,500 each from a landscaping company and a Farmingdale man who were also named in the suit because the ball was alleged to have been on the resident's lawn as it was being mowed.

The suit had charged the resident, Carl Capoano, and the landscaping company, Canfield Lawn and Landscaping, had some culpability in Guhl's injury because they had not taken precautions to guard against the possibility the lawn mower could have launched the golf ball.

In essence, the suit argued they had an obligation to check the lawn for the golf ball before allowing the power mower to be used.

The suit reserved the greatest culpability for the golf club, claiming netting to keep golf balls from flying on to Asbury Avenue should have been in place.

The defendants in the case made no admissions of liability under the terms of the settlement.

The suit stemmed from a May 24, 2006, incident where Guhl was struck in the eye by flying glass when a golf ball struck his car as he drove along Asbury Avenue in Farmingdale, said Norman M. Hobbie, the attorney who represented Guhl.

"Immediately after he was injured, Mr. Guhl pulled over and noticed a cut range ball from Eagle Oaks in his car seat," Hobbie said. "He also saw a lawn care worker riding a mower by a house on Asbury Avenue."

Hobbie said the golf ball had apparently been hit on to the resident's lawn and then propelled by the lawnmower into Guhl's car.

Guhl was treated at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune and later at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia for a cut cornea in his right eye, Hobbie said.

Expert reports prepared by physicians determined the visual acuity in the injured eye had dropped from 20/20 vision to 20/100, Hobbie said. A person with 20/100 vision can see detail from 20 feet away the same as a person with normal eyesight would see it from 100 feet away.

"He has also lost depth perception and will probably need a corneal transplant in the future," Hobbie said.

The golf club referred a call seeking comment to its attorney.

Calls to David Molnar, the attorney representing the golf club, were not returned.

The attorneys representing Capoano and the landscaper could not be reached for comment. Capoano declined comment.

ON THE WEB: Visit our Web site, www.app.com, and click on this story to learn the latest developments. Also, join in the online conversation about this topic by clicking on Story Chat.

Richard Martin
07-31-2008, 10:54 AM
That's why I carry insurance. Because Stuff Happens!

hockeypro1411
07-31-2008, 10:58 AM
get a lawer and tell him to prove that it was me. not gettin a dime until you do.

dougmartin2003
07-31-2008, 01:00 PM
"Immediately after he was injured, Mr. Guhl pulled over and noticed a cut range ball from Eagle Oaks in his car seat," Hobbie said. "He also saw a lawn care worker riding a mower by a house on Asbury Avenue."

translation: I'm suing everybody i can see with my 1 good eye



thats why you must have good insurance,

ezgoer1969
07-31-2008, 01:49 PM
Without an eyewitness to see the golf ball coming from the mower, I do not believe a judgement could be made. Could have been a kid with a slingshot, or many other possibilities that might have occurred. Must be more to the story.

LarryF
07-31-2008, 01:56 PM
I happen to live a couple of miles from Eatontown NJ, but the story also interests me, because in the last several years I've filled a bucket with golf balls I've found on my lot, usually when I'm mowing. I have a wide (about 75 feet) side lot and adjoining my back yard is a reservoir. It's my opinion that the across-the-street neighbor is in the habit of driving golf balls from his front lawn, across the street, over my side lot and into the reservoir. But sometimes the golf ball doesn't make it to the water, and if that's the case, it would explain the bucket of balls I've collected. I haven't ever found any golf balls on the opposite side lot to my house. I had never actually seen the neighbor driving balls, but I did mention it a few times over the years and he always claimed he wasn't doing it. About a month ago, I noticed a dent in the hood of my F-150 that had been parked in my driveway which is on that same side of the house. The missile didn't come straight down from heaven; rather, it came in at a low trajectory leaving a white mark that I could eyeball back to the across-the-street neighbor's front yard. When I lined up the mark in the other direction, sure enough, about 60 feet away resting on my turf was a little white golf ball. You can imagine what went through my mind. The repair estimate is about $400, so I carried the estimate and the bucket with dozens of golf balls including the new addition over to see the neighbor. Well, the bottom line is he still claimed innocence, and I don't believe I have any way of proving otherwise. So it sort of surprised me to read the above post where several parties were found liable for the damage caused by an errant golf ball. And it has also led me to speculate what might have happened if my ZTR had picked up one of those golf balls with its blade and flung it back at the neighbor's house to cause similar damage as reported above. It had never occurred to me that I could be liable for debris that other people put on my lawn, but I guess that's possible. By the way, I'm not a golfer, so none of those little white pellets in the bucket were mine.

Lawn-Sharks
07-31-2008, 03:02 PM
I have ran over many golf balls in my time and have never seen one come out as a hole golf ball, just tiny fast little pieces!

Sym
07-31-2008, 03:10 PM
what i don't really understand is why the owner of the house was liable...was he even home? if the golf club was fond liable for the ball being there in the first place...the homeowner shouldn't be held liable as well....

milsaps118
07-31-2008, 03:33 PM
I think anytime a law suite is filed, the lawyer sues anyone and everyone who might be liable for damage(s). This way they have a better chance of getting awarded larger judgements/settlements.

As far as why the homeowner is presumed responsible is the fact that he is the one responsible for everything that goes on at/on his property regardless if he is present during the time an incident occurs. Just my .02

sledhead
07-31-2008, 04:05 PM
I have ran over many golf balls in my time and have never seen one come out as a hole golf ball, just tiny fast little pieces!
Good point, If it came from the mower it certainly would have some damage to the ball. Crap you can practically slice a baseball in half.

tnpete
07-31-2008, 04:24 PM
I happen to live a couple of miles from Eatontown NJ, but the story also interests me, because in the last several years I've filled a bucket with golf balls I've found on my lot, usually when I'm mowing. I have a wide (about 75 feet) side lot and adjoining my back yard is a reservoir. It's my opinion that the across-the-street neighbor is in the habit of driving golf balls from his front lawn, across the street, over my side lot and into the reservoir. But sometimes the golf ball doesn't make it to the water, and if that's the case, it would explain the bucket of balls I've collected. I haven't ever found any golf balls on the opposite side lot to my house. I had never actually seen the neighbor driving balls, but I did mention it a few times over the years and he always claimed he wasn't doing it. About a month ago, I noticed a dent in the hood of my F-150 that had been parked in my driveway which is on that same side of the house. The missile didn't come straight down from heaven; rather, it came in at a low trajectory leaving a white mark that I could eyeball back to the across-the-street neighbor's front yard. When I lined up the mark in the other direction, sure enough, about 60 feet away resting on my turf was a little white golf ball. You can imagine what went through my mind. The repair estimate is about $400, so I carried the estimate and the bucket with dozens of golf balls including the new addition over to see the neighbor. Well, the bottom line is he still claimed innocence, and I don't believe I have any way of proving otherwise. So it sort of surprised me to read the above post where several parties were found liable for the damage caused by an errant golf ball. And it has also led me to speculate what might have happened if my ZTR had picked up one of those golf balls with its blade and flung it back at the neighbor's house to cause similar damage as reported above. It had never occurred to me that I could be liable for debris that other people put on my lawn, but I guess that's possible. By the way, I'm not a golfer, so none of those little white pellets in the bucket were mine.

I pick up a few balls per week out of my yard. And there's no golf course within 5 miles LOL The kid across the road I think is using our big front year for a driving range. I told him to make sure He picked up any that comes this way.
Well the other day. There was one I did not see. But it sure make a nice dent in the front door of there house LOL
Pete

mattfromNY
07-31-2008, 04:37 PM
Wow! I'm printing the story as I write this, gonna show it to my guys- we mow 3 homes bordering on a golf course, we run over countless balls, but have never done any damage other than to the balls themselves. I've sent a lacrosse ball flying several stories high and several hundred yards through the air, luckily into a vacant lot, but I see where it could have done some damage.

PTP
07-31-2008, 07:28 PM
I have ran over many golf balls in my time and have never seen one come out as a hole golf ball, just tiny fast little pieces!

I remember launching a golf ball out of the mower. It probably had a good cut on it but it was certainly whole. It was going real fast. I estimate that it was close to the same speed as my 400 feet per second pellet gun. It would have easily done the damage mentioned in the story if the conditions were right.

South Florida Lawns
07-31-2008, 07:44 PM
I'm glad I mulch. That sucks for the guy that was just driving along, and bam gets f'ed in the eye. You only have one set of eyes.

LushGreenLawn
07-31-2008, 07:47 PM
Thanks goodness for insurance!

CrewKut
07-31-2008, 08:10 PM
It's too bad someone suffered an injury that will be with them the rest of their life, but the really sad part is that the attorneys will take a huge chunk of that settlement. Don't get me wrong, I think that everyone should be compensated fairly for their time/work. I just don't think someone's injury should be a windfall for an attorney. Pay them a fair hourly rate, but the rest goes to the victim.

I'll get off my soapbox now.

Dan

delphied
07-31-2008, 08:50 PM
Without an eyewitness to see the golf ball coming from the mower, I do not believe a judgement could be made. Could have been a kid with a slingshot, or many other possibilities that might have occurred. Must be more to the story.

Sounds like a judgement was made and the lawncare had to pay 37,500.

Whitey4
07-31-2008, 09:41 PM
I don't see how this can happen if a discharge chute is attached to the mower... and I'll bet that was why the LCO got the hook on this one... an unmodified discharge chute is NOT going to launch golf balls with that kind of velocity.

CrewKut
07-31-2008, 09:52 PM
Whitey4, very good point. Could be what keeps the mower manufacturer from being named in a lawsuit. If enough incidents result in similar judgments, I can see insurance companies requiring equipment inspections, or limitations on payouts if a discharge chute is removed.

Dan

dura to the max
07-31-2008, 10:02 PM
i have run over many golf balls and have yet to see one fly more than a few feet. and most dont even move, im down south so we cut fairly low, and rarely see them move an inch. doesnt seem like this is even possible. there are so many conditions that must be met for such an incident to occur, it's unreal. i think some pros need to be called in on this one, MYTHBUSTERS!

XterraJohn
07-31-2008, 10:24 PM
Whitey4, very good point. Could be what keeps the mower manufacturer from being named in a lawsuit. If enough incidents result in similar judgments, I can see insurance companies requiring equipment inspections, or limitations on payouts if a discharge chute is removed.

Dan

I just don't see any advantages to removing a discharge chute in light of the potential problems that it seems likely to invite.

Whitey4
07-31-2008, 10:38 PM
Whitey4, very good point. Could be what keeps the mower manufacturer from being named in a lawsuit. If enough incidents result in similar judgments, I can see insurance companies requiring equipment inspections, or limitations on payouts if a discharge chute is removed.

Dan

LOL.... there are ANSI standards that regulate this... as Gary from Quick recently informed me about. I wanted a "quick disconnect" setup on my mower's discharge chute just to clear gates, but this ASNI standard does NOT allow for any "non-tool" removal of safety equipment.

In that same thread, I read where guys were cutting the discharge chutes down..... I have to think that doing that sort of thing could even violate one's liability insurance policy! Meaning, the insurance Co won't have to cover you! YOU might be liable, with NO insurance!

Now, I WILL modify my chute for a quick disconnect just to get thru gates quickly, but would NEVER mow with it off or modified (cut). But.... I use safety glasses and keep the shields on my line trimmers.... I'm just like that.

CrewKut
07-31-2008, 11:10 PM
I just don't see any advantages to removing a discharge chute in light of the potential problems that it seems likely to invite.

Neither do I. I had this debate with my nephew. He was looking over the Toro I had just purchased, and after telling me he thought it was a nice mower, he pointed to the discharge chute and said "You'll be removing that soon" (he has a new Scag with it removed). I told him that I had just pulled the mulching kit off of it and put the chute back on. I said what makes you think that I would run without it? He said "because everyone else does". I asked him to give me a good reason why he took his off. He muttered something about it discharging better. I told him my opinion on why they include one from the mfg., and what I thought were the advantages of leaving it on. Including the fact that it could help keep my insurance rates lower by not having to file unnecessary claims. To be honest, my Toro disperses clippings just fine with the chute on. Plus, it just may keep the mower from launching a stone into something or someone.

Dan

delphied
07-31-2008, 11:13 PM
i have run over many golf balls and have yet to see one fly more than a few feet. and most dont even move, im down south so we cut fairly low, and rarely see them move an inch. doesnt seem like this is even possible. there are so many conditions that must be met for such an incident to occur, it's unreal. i think some pros need to be called in on this one, MYTHBUSTERS!

Anything is possible. I hit a 3/8 gascock that was attached to 3/8 soft copper below the top of the grass. It was on the trim side of the mower and was launched 150 feet and through a window and Hunter Douglas blind. Cost was 1500. I was lucky it didnt go through a forehead. Most people take these mowers too too lightly and think it cant happen to them and even if it does, it just cant really be due to any fault of their own. The fact is, if someone gets hurt by a mower, its not that persons fault at all and they have every right in the world to go after any party involved.

XterraJohn
07-31-2008, 11:43 PM
Anything is possible. I hit a 3/8 gascock that was attached to 3/8 soft copper below the top of the grass. It was on the trim side of the mower and was launched 150 feet and through a window and Hunter Douglas blind. Cost was 1500. I was lucky it didnt go through a forehead. Most people take these mowers too too lightly and think it cant happen to them and even if it does, it just cant really be due to any fault of their own. The fact is, if someone gets hurt by a mower, its not that persons fault at all and they have every right in the world to go after any party involved.

Just out of curiosity, and not meaning to sound like I'm trying to pass any judgment, but did this mower have a discharge chute in place, or was it removed?

jdmcat
08-01-2008, 03:30 AM
I sent a piece of a tree branch flying through a window in my house a few years back. Luckily my little ones were taking a nap as the glass was scattered all the way across the house.

bigsnowdog
08-01-2008, 06:19 AM
Would a rear discharge mower have prevented this? I read where municipalities often use them for liability related reasons. Or would the rear discharge mower not do well enough for a golf course?

Richard Martin
08-01-2008, 06:39 AM
Or you could just fool yourself and buy a mower with a built in discharge chute. Most mowers bring the discharge blade right out the edge of the deck at the discharge. Both of my 60" Dixie set the discharge blade back under the mower deck about 4" in effect creating a discharge chute that can't easily be removed.

And in case you're wondering, yes the right side tire does track outside the cut. It's just that no one notices.

delphied
08-01-2008, 07:29 AM
Just out of curiosity, and not meaning to sound like I'm trying to pass any judgment, but did this mower have a discharge chute in place, or was it removed?

The chute was up. I have never and I mean never seen a commercial operator with a proper chute in place or in the down position except my own since I learned the hard way. I have a powerchute OCDC on my 66 and I use the metal chute that came on my TTHP. Im just glad I didnt kill somebody.

Fred B
08-02-2008, 12:47 AM
When hitting an object like a golf ball or any object for that matter anything could happen discharge chute or not. Angle of hit, Lawn mower wheel in a rut at the same time hitting the object.... Yet alone a car traveling at 40 miles per hour. The odds are really low that you could have even planned that type of hit, but anything coud happen thats why its called an accident and you have insurance.

JNyz
08-02-2008, 06:35 AM
get a lawer and tell him to prove that it was me. not gettin a dime until you do.


I looked up lawer in the phone book and could not find one.

Vulcher2 Safety Mulcher
08-02-2008, 03:28 PM
this golf ball or discharge would not have happened if The Vulcher 2 the safety mulcher was used. If vulcher allowed this to happen it is backed up with a one million dollar liability insurance policy. do those metal mulch plates do that???

delphied
08-02-2008, 03:34 PM
this golf ball or discharge would not have happened if The Vulcher 2 the safety mulcher was used. If vulcher allowed this to happen it is backed up with a one million dollar liability insurance policy. do those metal mulch plates do that???

Are there any oportunities to use a Vulcher2 and write up a report as I saw in another thread. I need one for a 48 Exmark TTHP.

Pastaboy62
08-02-2008, 06:54 PM
I looked up lawer in the phone book and could not find one.

They are under lawyer...