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Olson v. Saville

Case Details and Video Transcript:

Filed 1/17/24

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT

DIVISION SIX

MARK OLSON,

Plaintiff and Appellant,

v.

PATRICK SAVILLE,

Defendant and Respondent.

2d Civ. No. B324465

(Super. Ct. No. 20CV02207)

(Santa Barbara County)

In this case, plaintiff/appellant Olson claimed that defendant Saville caused his surfing injuries when Saville dropped in on his wave, failed to control his surfboard, and failed to use a leash.

The trial court granted summary judgment for Saville finding that the doctrine of primary assumption of the risk barred Olson’s negligence claims.

On appeal, Olson did not deny that the assumption of risk doctrine applied to surfing. Rather, he argued that the trial court erred because there were triable issues of material fact that Saville acted recklessly or increased surfing’s inherent risks.

The California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s ruling.  It reasoned that Saville’s conduct was common in the surfing community, and accordingly, not reckless or outside the range of ordinary activity in surfing. Notably, the Court emphasized that imposing liability under these circumstances would have the effect of chilling the “fervor” of surfing competition.

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