Eminent Domain

New York's High Court Finally Gets Something Right


It's been an abysmal few years at New York's Court of Appeals. First, the Empire State's highest court voted to rubber stamp the despicable Atlantic Yards land grab, thereby allowing corporate welfare recipient Bruce Ratner (and his ugly allies) to profit at the expense of homeowner Daniel Goldstein, the fine folks at Freddy's Bar, and other Brooklyn property owners and residents. Then the Court of Appeals allowed New York state to use eminent domain on behalf of—and in collusion with—Columbia University, thereby privileging the elite private institution at the expense of family business owner Nick Sprayregen. So it's a strange day indeed to find good news coming out of that flawed judicial body. But as the Associated Press reports, the Court of Appeals just got one right:

Slices, hooks and other errant shots are a common hazard on the links and a golfer can't expect to get a warning shout of "Fore!" every time a ball comes his way, New York's top court ruled Tuesday in dismissing a personal injury lawsuit.

Dr. Anoop Kapoor and Dr. Azad Anand were playing on a nine-hole Long Island course in October 2002 when Anand was hit in the head while looking for his ball on a fairway, blinding him in one eye. The seven judges on the state Court of Appeals, siding with lower courts, said Kapoor's failure to yell in advance of his errant shot from the rough did not amount to intentional or reckless conduct.

The court cited a judge's finding that Anand was not in the foreseeable zone of danger and, as a golfer, consented to the inherent risks of the sport.