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Hackbart v. Cincinnati Bengals, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
601 F.2d 516 (1979)

Hackbart v. Cincinnati Bengals, Inc.


Charles Clark played football for the Cincinnati Bengals (Bengals) (defendant). In a game between the Bengals and the Denver Broncos (Broncos), Clark, acting out of frustration because his team was losing, intentionally struck Dale Hackbart (plaintiff), a Broncos player, on the back of the head and neck during the course of the game. Upon striking Hackbart, both players fell to the ground. Clark did not intend to injure Hackbart with the blow. The rules of football prohibited players from intentionally striking other players in this manner. Hackbart sued the Cincinnati Bengals for damages. The trial court ruled as a matter of law the game of football is violent in nature and there are sanctions available during the course of the game in the form of penalties and expulsion from the game to address rule violations. Hackbart appealed the decision of the trial court to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Doyle, J.)

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