Q2 2016 Newsletter
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360 S. Garfield St., Ste 600
Denver, CO 80209
102 S. Tejon St., Ste 1100
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Deeds and Bad Shots...FORE
Several weeks ago our firm was one of the many sponsors of a golf tournament that benefits the Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association. We are proud of our firm's involvement with this extraordinary organization, as well as the hard work of our colleague Lindsay Richardson, who is an active board member. After this tournament my partner was asked by some friends to take on a "challenging" legal issue - one that perhaps has more importance for his typical foursome, based on the quality of their play: what happens if you hit a really bad golf shot and hit someone in the eye? I had never given this much thought, which is crazy because I am not a good golfer and our firm handles a lot of litigation. So upon his return from the course we hit the books.
Surprisingly, the Colorado Court of Appeals has actually addressed this issue in a case (almost 40 years ago). The dispute involved a spectator at a golf tournament who was hit in the eye by an errant shot. The spectator was forty-five feet from the targeted green, behind some trees and in a designated spectator area. After hitting the bad shot, the golfer (and other members of his foursome) yelled "fore" loudly several times. It didn't help. The spectator was hit and, of course, filed a lawsuit.
You might expect that the golfer would be liable for hitting a shot that bad. However, in this case, the golfer was not liable to the injured spectator. Instead, the court found that golfers and spectators know many shots go astray from the intended line of flight - a risk all such persons must accept. Unless there is evidence that the golfer was negligent hitting the ball or giving a warning when the shot went bad, the golfer isn't liable. In fact, because the spectator was so far away (as the court explained, not in the "foreseeable ambit of danger"), the golfer who hit the shot did not have a duty to yell "fore" and try to warn her. In Colorado, if you're outside the zone of danger or if you aware of the impending shot, you are not entitled to any warning.
So how bad does a golf shot need be before the golfer is negligent and liable for knocking out someone's eye?
Well, it's not the quality of the shot (or lack thereof) that matters. While considering evidence of a golfer's negligence, another court (this one in Kansas - fortunately there isn't that much reported golf litigation in Colorado) found there was no evidence that a golfer was negligent because (1) the golfer played a dozen of times a year, (2) had professional training, (3) constantly practiced, (4) had not consumed any alcohol prior to the time he hit his fateful tee shot, (5) had a smooth consistent swing, (6) knew how to properly hold the club, (7) hit tee shots on the previous seventeen holes that were straight down the fairway with no hook and only an occasional fade to the right, (8) took the same amount of time and preparation on the 18th tee as he did on the 17 previous tee shots, and (9) did nothing different or unusual on the 18th tee. The Kansas golfer had a pretty impressive resume of reasonable golf care. Unfortunately I could not (as Danny Foster could attest) have met any of those criteria.
The lesson in all of this is that you should play golf more often, but drink less when you do. If however, you happen to drill someone in the eye, hope that they are inside the "foreseeable ambit of danger" - a term which has all the clarity of the water in Cherry Creek Reservoir.
While I can't say our firm's foursome walked away with any of the prizes from this charity event, none of them are being sued due to their bad golfing, and it was a wonderful way to support a most deserving charity that could desperately use our help. I urge you to go to http://www.rmdsa.org/ to donate to this worthwhile cause.
Bob G. Graham,
* Protecting the Owner and the Project - Presentation
On June 8
, Michelle Berger presented a continuing education program entitled "Protecting the Owner and the Project: Insurance and Bonding Issues in Construction" to a group of architects, engineers and owner's representatives.
* High School Boot Camp
* FGMC Would like to Welcome
Andrea Vella joined the firm this spring. Andrea's practice
focuses on corporate matters, mergers/acquisitions, and banking/finance.
* Mackrell International Conference
Risk Busters: Insurance Coverages for Construction Projects
Summer is officially here and with the ensuing ramp up in construction projects comes the inevitable increase in exposure to risk for everyone involved in a project, including Owners, Developers, General Contractors ("GC's"), and Subcontractors ("Subs") . The best way to manage this increased exposure to risk is to establish an insurance compliance program that ensures that everyone working on the project has the proper insurance coverage's ("Risk Busters"). Ideally, such a program should be in place prior to starting the project; and compliance with the project insurance requirements should be continually monitored throughout the life of the project, and any applicable statute of repose period.
Getting Ready for High School Boot Camp...Update
Danny S. Foster
Several weeks ago our law firm hosted over 150 parents and students for two nights of discussion, education and stories about the risks and dangers associated with going to high school. We were overwhelmed with the response and the interesting comments and questions of our participants. Over the course of two hours my colleagues Lara Baker, Lindsay Richardson and myself discussed the rising use of marijuana by high schoolers and they all were able to see for themselves what edibles look like and they learned how dangerous they can be.
FGMC & Brian Proffitt would like to congratulate our new liquor licensed establishments:
Trader Joe's #306
8055-3 West Bowles Ave., Littleton, CO 80123
3450 S. College Ave., Ft. Collins, CO 80525
327 E. Foothills Pkwy, Suite 110, Ft. Collins, CO 80525
Denver Pavilions Stadium 15
500 16th Street, #310, Denver, CO 80202
Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q
2473 W. 28th Street, Greeley, CO 80631
7630 W. 80th Ave., Arvada, CO 80005
Buffalo Wild Wings
6100 S. Main St., Unit 107, Aurora, CO 80016
Tierra Maya Sports Bar & Grill
455 Havana St., Aurora, CO 80010