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Rudolph v. Arizona B.A.S.S. Federation

Arizona Court of Appeals
898 P.2d 1000 (1995)


Grand Canyon Bass Busters (GCBB) (defendant) sponsored a bass-fishing tournament. GCBB’s membership decided to hold the tournament at Bartlett Lake, despite knowledge that the lake was crowded with recreational boat and jet-ski traffic. GCBB obtained a permit for the tournament conditioned on the promise that the tournament would be maintained in a safe and reasonable manner for all persons using the lake. The lake was over 2,700 acres, but GCBB only established one designated weigh-in site. To avoid penalties or disqualification, fisherman needed to return to the weigh-in station before 1:00 p.m. At 12:55 p.m., Heather Rudolph and a passenger on her jet ski were struck and killed by a boat driven by James Kirkland, a participant in the tournament. Heather’s parents (plaintiffs) filed a wrongful-death suit against GCBB and several other parties, alleging negligence in the operation of the tournament. At trial, GCBB brought a motion for summary judgment, claiming that GCBB had no special relationship with Heather and owed Heather no duty of care. The trial court ruled in favor of GCBB and dismissed the claims. The plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Weisberg, J.)

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