Hart v. Geysel Case Brief

Summary of Hart v. Geysel, S. Ct. Washington, 1930

Facts: In 1929 Cartwright and Geysel entered a prize fight within the City of Seattle. During the fight Cartwright received a blow from Geysel which caused his death. The blow was not made in anger, nor was it malicious, nor done excessively. The estate of Cartwright has filed the action to recover.

Issue: Whether act resulting in the wrongful death of mutual professional combatants was consensual?

Holding: Yes.

Procedure: Trial Ct.

Rule: One who has consented to suffer a particular invasion of his private right has no right to complain; and that no one shall profit by his own wrongdoing.

Consent is a complete defense for a claim for damages involving a tort for assault and battery.

Ct. Rationale: One who expressly consents to and engages in prize fighting as a matter of business and sport, and sustains an injury, or if death results, does not have a claim for assault absent a showing of anger, maliciousness, or excessive force.

PL A: PL consented to fighting not death.

Def A: Both the DF and PL voluntarily consented to fighting which is known to produce serious injury or death, DF was not negligent and the death was accidental.

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