Golf Course Fall Leads to $6 Million Verdict
A man who fell and broke his back on the golf course of a country club won a $6 million jury award.
Amar Sappal was a guest of his son, who was a member of the Mid-Pacific Country Club in Hawaii. Sappal was standing on the illuminated first tee area with another guest at around 11:00 p.m. on a June night in 2009 when the country club’s automatic sprinkler system went off. Sappal was suddenly knocked backwards down a slope and over the edge of the first tee.
He sued the country club for negligence.
Sappal’s lawyer, Michael Livingston, of the law firm Davis, Levin & Livingston, argued that the sprinkler system was to blame, claiming that the spray stunned his client and caused the 15 to 20-foot fall that paralyzed Sappal from the waist down.
The country club countered that Sappal was drunk and was already familiar with the grounds because he had golfed there before.
The jury agreed with both sides.
After a five-week trial, jurors deliberated for two days and decided that Sappal suffered damages totaling $12.5 million. However, the jury said the country club and Sappal shared the blame 50-50.
As a result, Sappal is entitled to half of the total, or $6.25 million.