CRUG Wins Appeal in Eighth District Upholding Trial Court Verdict of No Fault for Indoor Soccer Sport Park Owner

In Kumar v. Sevastos, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No.109795, 2021-Ohio-1885, Ron Ziehm and Jaren Webster successfully defended the owner of an indoor soccer facility against a negligence action brought by a soccer player who sustained injuries when he collided with the wall during an indoor soccer game.

The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant-owner of the facility based on the open-and-obvious doctrine and the doctrine of primary assumption of risk. The Eighth Appellate District affirmed.

Notably, the Eighth District determined that the defendant-owner owed no duty to warn the plaintiff of any danger posed by the open-and-obvious boundary wall, and that no “attendant circumstances” created an exception to the open-and-obvious doctrine. Specifically, the court found that neither a slide-tackle by an opposing player nor the boundary wall itself (alleged to be a “negligent safety design”) were “attendant circumstances” because neither diverted the plaintiff’s attention or otherwise caused him to fail to perceive the open-and-obvious wall.