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Golf ball ejected from lawnmower=LAWSUIT

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Pastaboy62, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. Pastaboy62

    Pastaboy62 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    Take a look at this..


    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.
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    That's why I carry insurance. Because Stuff Happens!
  3. hockeypro1411

    hockeypro1411 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 271

    get a lawer and tell him to prove that it was me. not gettin a dime until you do.
  4. dougmartin2003

    dougmartin2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    "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,
  5. ezgoer1969

    ezgoer1969 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 97

    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.
  6. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,179

    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.
  7. Lawn-Sharks

    Lawn-Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    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!
  8. Sym

    Sym LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    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....
  9. milsaps118

    milsaps118 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    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
  10. sledhead

    sledhead LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    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.

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