A tennis club, as an operator of premises for use in sports activities, has a duty to exercise reasonable care in protecting its patrons from injury. As a result, tennis clubs may be held liable for injuries suffered by a tennis player if they fail to exercise reasonable care. Most claims resulting from injuries suffered at tenns clubs involve questions of slip and fall / premises liability.

Can a Tennis Player Sue a Tennis Club for Injuries?

Tennis clubs are not strictly liable for all injuries suffered by a tennis player on its premises. A tennis player assumes all obvious and foreseeable risks that are normally incident to the game and will be barred from suing for injuries resulting from such risks. Additionally, recovery for injuries may be barred if the tennis player is contributory negligent, meaning that his own actions contributed to his injury.

Tennis players are not responsible for assuming extraordinary risks that not normally incident to the game, and may sue for such injuries as long as the player is unaware of the risk and has not voluntarily assumed it. Players may also sue if they sustain injuries resulting from an obstacle or defect in the court that the owners of a tennis club knew about and yet did not fix.

What Factors Determine Whether a Tennis Player May Sue?

  • Nature of the cause of injury: If the danger was open and obvious or the tennis club had notice of its existence, the club will more likely be liable.
  • Player's own contributory negligence
  • Player's knowledge of the danger
  • Number of past accidents resulting from the danger
  • Cost of repairing the defect weight against the seriousness of injury

What Are Examples of Injuries That a Player May Sue For?

  • Slipping and falling on leaves negligently left on the court by the tennis club.
  • Tripping on a seam protruding from a court that the tennis club had notice of and failed to repair.
  • Catching a ring on a girder while retrieving a ball at an indoor tennis court.

What Are Examples of Injuries That a Player May Not Sue For?

  • Falling and getting injured while chasing a ball.
  • Colliding with a trash bin on an adjacent court after voluntarily chasing a ball into that court.
  • Running into a stone wall while chasing a ball.
  • Slipping while playing on wet courts after a recent rain fall.
  • Tripping on balls that are left on the court by the player or that he knew were there.

Seeking Legal Help

A personal injury lawyer will be able to evaluate the seriousness of your injury, the degree of negligence of the tennis court, and the likelihood that you will be able to recover for you claim. If you believe the danger was known to the tennis club and they failed to repair it, then you should consult an attorney.