Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Legal Implications of playing beer pong at a bar and then getting injured outside bar

I'm not sure if beer pong is a "sport", thought it is on TV and Rick Reilly clearly thinks it is. Plus, as we discussed before, spelling bees seem to be sporting events.  If a spelling bee is a sport, how could a beer pong match not be?

In any event, for all the beer pong players out there -- if you get drunk playing beer pong at a bar and then get injured outside the bar because you're drunk, one judge in NYC says you can't sue the bar. You've assumed the risk:

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In a decision made public yesterday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lucy Billings threw out Alan Berger’s lawsuit against Wicked Willy’s on Bleecker Street, finding he’d signed up for the fast-paced beer-drinking game of his own free will.

“Despite the game tables, cups and alcohol [that the] defendant bar made available to plaintiff and other bar patrons without serving the alcohol or monitoring its consumption, plaintiff voluntarily engaged in the drinking game” and “consumed alcohol to the point of diminished capacity,” Billings wrote.

Berger was 22 in June 2009, when he got into a heated 3 1/2-hour match with friends playing the game, the object of which is to bounce a pingpong ball into another player’s cup and get them to drink, court papers say.

He took a bus back to New Jersey after the game and was still so drunk he tried to cross Highway 9 near Manalapan and got hit by a car going 50 miles an hour, said his lawyer, Michael Wiseberg.

Berger suffered numerous injuries, including a broken hip, leg and foot, tears in both his knees, and a lacerated liver, the lawyer said. When his blood was checked at the hospital about four hours after he left the bar, his blood alcohol content was .26 — almost four times higher than the legal driving limit.

His suit charges that the bar should have been monitoring the game to make sure players weren’t getting visibly drunk.
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To read the rest from the NY Post, click here.