This case involves an injury that occurred during a soccer game at a country club. The game was just one event in a larger “field day” held by the club each year, which comprised a number of other events, including an augmented reality game for fans. Despite rain and thunder earlier in the day, the field day was held on the still wet grass surrounding the country club. In the course of the soccer game, the plaintiff slipped and fell on a patch of wet grass, sustaining a severe injury to his shoulder. It was alleged that the club was negligent in failing to provide a safe environment for its patrons and participants in the field day activities, and the the events should have been relocated.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please describe your experience in general management of country clubs.
- 2. Have you served as an expert on a case involving a similar claim?
- 3. What precautions should be observed in order to prevent injuries to members during club events?
- 4. What is the standard procedure for responding to these incidents and caring for injured members?
Expert Witness Response E-009291
I was previously the General Manager of Woodholme Country Club, a 535-family private club in Maryland. More recently, I taught hospitality management at the college level for eight years and have advised numerous hospitality clients through my consulting business. I also have background as the Assistant General Manager or General Manager of four hotels and a number of restaurants. A few additional questions come to mind. For example, was this the first time a soccer game was held on the premises? How was it planned and promoted? What precautions were in place to check the field prior to the game? Were members required to sign any sort of pre-game release? The standard of care for response would depend upon the apparent severity of the injury and the advice of those who might also be present (i.e. medical professionals who might be players or spectators). At the very least, an accident/incident report should have been filled out with assistance beyond that provided – if the injury appeared to involve only a sprain, applying ice might have been acceptable. If the injury appeared more serious, transportation to an emergency room would have been advised.
This hospitality and restaurant expert has more than 20 years of experience dealing with hotel, country club, and foodservice operations, management, logistics, and safety. He earned a B.S. in Hotel Administration from Cornell University, an M.S. in Environmental Science and Hospitality Design from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is a certified hotel administrator, a registered food sanitation instructor, and a registered responsible beverage instructor through the National Restaurant Association. He has managed numerous restaurants and hotels throughout his career, and has taught courses on restaurant and hospitality management for over a decade. Currently, he is the founder and principal of his own hospitality consulting firm.