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Hellriegel v. Tholl

Supreme Court of Washington
417 P.2d 362 (1966)


Facts

Dicka Hellriegel was playing with several of his friends near Lake Washington. After the topic of conversation shifted to throwing people in the lake, Dicka said that he couldn’t be thrown into the lake even if his friends tried. In response, three of Dicka’s male friends (Boys) (defendants) attempted to throw Dicka into the lake. Dicka resisted and was participating in the ensuing horseplay when one of the Boys slipped and fell on the back of Dicka’s head. Dicka heard two cracks and yelled that he had been paralyzed. Dieter Hellriegel (plaintiff), Dicka’s father, brought suit against the Boys to recover for Dicka’s injuries. At trial, Hellriegel claimed that Dicka was eligible to recover under a theory of battery, or offensive and unconsented touching. The trial court dismissed Hellriegel’s claims, finding that Dicka had consented to the horseplay that led to his injury and, as a result, had failed to establish a prima facie case to support the claims. Hellriegel appealed the decision.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Donworth, J.)

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