Negligence

July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Negligence

NEGLIGENCE-ASSUMPTION OF THE RISK Valentino vs. Phila. Triathlon, 2019 Pa. LEXIS 3368.  Evenly divided Opinion in support of affirmance – Justice Baer.  This Court granted allocatur to determine whether an express assumption of the risk agreement executed by triathlon participant Derek Valentino (“Decedent”) serves as a defense to a wrongful death claim commenced against the Philadelphia Triathlon, LLC (“Triathlon”) by Decedents heir (“Appellant”), who was not a signatory to the agreement.  The Superior Court held that Decedent’s express assumption of the risks inherent in participation in the sporting event eliminated Triathlon’s duty of care, thereby rendering Triathlon’s conduct non-tortious.   Absent tortious activity, the Superior Court concluded that the wrongful death claim brought by Decedent’s heir could not succeed as a matter of law because the Wrongful Death Act premises recovery upon “the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.”  42 Pa.C.S.§8301.  Accordingly, the Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of Triathlon.  For the reasons set forth herein, we would affirm the judgment of the Superior Court and adopt its astute legal analysis.  Once Decedent extinguished Triathlon’s duty of care…