Liability in a Tennis Double can be Excluded

As we all are longing for summer, outdoor games are taking more and more place. Who will be liable for damages in a tennis double? This might become interesting to know if your “partner” clobbers his racket on your head – accidentally of course.


Generally, all private team games are played at your own risk. This is the standing judgment of the Federal Court of Justice. Normally everybody is responsible for the injuries he caused. However, it is considered as violating good faith (§242 BGB) to assume liability of a team member during fighting games. This is only in so far true as everybody plays by the rules. So, if your match partner purposely smacks an opponent with a ball, he can be held liable.

The OLG Düsseldorf (I-15 U 78/04) had to judge a case with the specialty that doubles were playing against another. In this case a doubles partner accidentally hit his partner with his racket on the head and he suffered a concussion of the brain. The specialty of a doubles match is, however, that two persons play together and not against another. Nevertheless, so ruled the court, the same rules as in competing games are still to be applied here. Because of the game’s speed, there is a high danger potential.

Especially, such danger can realize itself when partners misunderstand another or coordination fails. It does not matter that international tennis rules say when a ball is to be played or who is to return it. A violation of these rules can only be considered as a minor responsibility. If you cannot show, that your doubles partner was attacking you in disregard of all and any rules you will have hardly any chance of winning the case in court.




Published on the old CMS: 2006/8/2
Read on the old CMS till November 2008: 1,036 reads

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