Hellriegel v. Tholl

Supreme Court of Washington

417 P.2d 362 (Wash. 1966)

In an action for battery, a person who consents to an activity assumes the risk of injury that accompanies the activity.

Relevant Facts

Dicka Hellriegel was playing with several of his friends near a lake. They discussed throwing one another into the lake, and Dicka said that he couldn’t be thrown in the lake even if his friends tried. Three of Dicka’s friends (the defendants) tried to throw him in the lake. In the ensuing horseplay, one of the boys slipped and fell on the back of Dicka’s head. Dicka heard two cracks and yelled he had been paralyzed. Dicka’s father (the plaintiff) brought suit against the defendants to recover for his son’s injuries, claiming that his son was eligible to recover under a theory of battery, or offensive and unconsented touching. The trial court dismissed the plaintiff’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. The plaintiff appealed.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 20, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

417 P.2d 362 (Wash. 1966)