Megenity v. DunnAnnotate this Case
In Pfenning v. Lineman, the Supreme Court established that Indiana courts do not referee disputes arising from ordinary sports activity. The Court further held that, as a matter of law, when a sports participant injuries someone while engaging in conduct ordinary in the sport, and without intent or recklessness, the participant does not breach a duty. In this case, during a karate class drill, Defendant jump-kicked a bag, injuring Plaintiff, who was holding the bag. Plaintiff sued, alleging that Defendant negligently, recklessly, and unreasonably injured her. The trial court granted summary judgment for Defendant, concluding that, under Pfenning, Defendant breached no duty as a matter of law because the jump kick was “ordinary behavior” within the sport of karate generally. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court granted transfer, thereby vacating the decision of the court of appeals, and affirmed summary judgment, holding (1) under Pfenning, ordinary conduct in the sport turns on the sport generally, not the specific activity; and (2) because Defendant’s jump kick was ordinary conduct in the sport of karate generally and no evidence showed intent or recklessness, there was no breach as a matter of law.