The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled the City of Des Moines should pay up because a man was seriously injured during an outing on a city-owned golf course. In June of 2000, Richard Summy was on the 18th hole at Waveland Golf Course when he was struck in the eye by a golf ball hit by another player from the tee on the first hole. Summy sued the City of Des Moines and won.
City officials appealed, complaining that property owners in the City of Des Moines were not allowed on the jury and that tainted the verdict. In addition, the city argued getting hit by a golf ball is one of the risks one takes when playing golf.
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled the city could have taken steps to protect golfers from errant shots, like planting trees or shrubs to shield the fairway on 18 from sliced shots off the first tee. While the high court said it was wrong to exclude Des Moines property owners from the jury, that isn’t a good enough reason to overturn the verdict.