Hurst v. East Coast Hockey League, Inc.

Decision Date13 November 2006
Docket NumberNo. 26222.,26222.
Citation637 S.E.2d 560
PartiesCraig A. HURST, Appellant, v. EAST COAST HOCKEY LEAGUE, INC.; Knoxville Cherokees Hockey, Inc., d/b/a Pee Dee Pride Hockey, and d/b/a Florence Pride Hockey; Florence City-County Civic Center Commission d/b/a Florence City-County Civic Center; City of Florence; and County of Florence, Respondents.
CourtSouth Carolina Supreme Court
637 S.E.2d 560
Craig A. HURST, Appellant,
v.
EAST COAST HOCKEY LEAGUE, INC.; Knoxville Cherokees Hockey, Inc., d/b/a Pee Dee Pride Hockey, and d/b/a Florence Pride Hockey; Florence City-County Civic Center Commission d/b/a Florence City-County Civic Center; City of Florence; and County of Florence, Respondents.
No. 26222.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Heard October 4, 2006.
Decided November 13, 2006.

Page 561

Stephen J. Wukela, of Florence, for Appellant.

Robert T. King, of Willcox, Buyck & Williams, of Florence, for Respondents.

Justice BURNETT:


Craig A. Hurst (Appellant) appeals the circuit court's grant of summary judgment in favor of East Coast Hockey League, Inc.; Knoxville Cherokees Hockey, Inc., d/b/a Pee Dee Pride Jockey, and d/b/a Florence Pride Hockey ("Pride"); Florence City-County Civic Center Commission ("Commission") d/b/a Florence City-County Civic Center ("Civic Center"); City of Florence; and County of Florence (collectively referred to as Respondents). We certified the case for review from the Court of Appeals pursuant to Rule 204(b), SCACR. We affirm.

FACTUAL/PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Appellant filed this negligence action against Respondents for injuries he sustained while attending a Pride hockey game at the Civic Center on January 11, 2002. During pregame warm-ups, Appellant entered the spectator area at the Civic Center through a curtained concourse entrance behind one of the goals. Appellant was struck in the face by a puck while standing behind the goal.

At the time of the accident, the ice rink at the Civic Center was encircled by dasher boards and a protective Plexiglas wall, which was attached to the top of the dasher boards. Also at that time, the Pride was a member of the East Coast Hockey League, Inc., a professional hockey league. The Pride played home games at the Civic Center under a lease with the Commission. The Civic Center was maintained and operated by the Commission, a governmental entity created by the City of Florence and the County of Florence.

After a hearing on the matter, the circuit court determined the risk of pucks leaving the ice rink and entering the spectator area is well-known, obvious, and inherent to the game of hockey. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Respondents based on the doctrine of primary implied assumption of risk.

ISSUE

Did the circuit court err in granting summary judgment?

STANDARD OF REVIEW

When reviewing the grant of a summary judgment motion, the appellate court applies the same standard which governs the trial court under Rule 56(c), SCRCP: summary judgment is proper when there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. In determining whether any triable issues of fact exist, the evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. On appeal from an order granting summary judgment,

Page 562

the appellate court will review all ambiguities, conclusions, and inferences arising in and from the evidence in a light most favorable to the non-moving party below. Osborne v. Adams, 346 S.C. 4, 7, 550 S.E.2d 319, 321 (2001).

LAW/ANALYSIS

Appellant argues the circuit court erred in granting summary judgment for Respondents based on the doctrine of primary implied assumption of risk. We disagree.

To prove negligence, a plaintiff must prove the following elements: (1) a duty owed to the plaintiff by the defendant, (2) a breach of that duty by the defendant, and (3) damages proximately resulting from the breach of duty. Steinke v. S.C. Dep't of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, 336 S.C. 373, 387, 520 S.E.2d 142, 149 (1999). The court must determine, as a matter of law,...

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23 cases
  • Singleton v. Sherer, 4346.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • February 25, 2008
    ...duty by a negligent act or omission; and (3) damage proximately resulting from the breach of duty. See Hurst v. East Coast Hockey League, Inc., 371 S.C. 33, 37, 637 S.E.2d 560, 562 (2006). The court must determine, as a matter of law, whether the law recognizes a particular duty. Id. "If th......
  • Humphrey v. Day & Zimmerman Int'l, Inc., C/A No. 6:12–1458–TMC.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • January 31, 2014
    ...a legally recognized duty, the defendant in a negligence action is entitled to a judgment as matter of law. Hurst v. East Coast Hockey League, 371 S.C. 33, 637 S.E.2d 560, 562 (2006). In South Carolina, “there are four requirements to establishing the defense of assumption of risk: (1) the ......
  • Cole v. Boy Scouts of Am., 27072.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • January 11, 2012
    ...legally recognized duty, the defendant in a negligence action is entitled to a judgment as matter of law. Hurst v. East Coast Hockey League, 371 S.C. 33, 37, 637 S.E.2d 560, 562 (2006). In Hurst, we considered the application of assumption of risk in a sports context. The plaintiff was inju......
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    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • November 30, 2015
    ...(2) a breach of that duty by the defendant, and (3) damages proximately resulting from the breach of duty. Hurst v. E. Coast Hockey League, Inc., 637 S.E.2d 560, 562 (S.C. 2006). To establish a claim for breach of fiduciary duty, the plaintiff must prove (1) the existence of a fiduciary dut......
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