Academic Master

Laws and International Laws

Maussner v Atlantic City Country Case Analysis

Mr. Maussner, the plaintiff, and Mrs. Colleen Maussner, the appellant filed case against the Atlantic City Country Club Inc., the defendant. The plaintiff is seeking damages for the injuries he acquired when he struck by lightning on the defendants’ golf course. On that fateful, the plaintiff had gone with his friend to play golf at the defendants’ golf course. While there playing they noticed lightning bolt and resulted in seeking refugee to hotel clubhouse. On his way to the clubhouse, the plaintiff was struck by the lightning (Shadiack, 1998). The plaintiff argued that the defendants’ did not warn him about weather conditions. Also, the plaintiff accused the defendants’ of the lack of appropriate evacuation plan in case of the emergency.


The judge used the following facts to give the gives the following opinions. The golfer cause has no lightning detection system and also it doesn’t have lightning proof shelters. Thus the course plan was to detect lightning through acquire information from weather channels and National weather service. If the lightning was detected one of the golfers’ employee could have informed the golfers. Although, there were no preventative measures the judge stated that golfers could take refuge in the houses or trees or lay down to avoid being struck by lightning (Shadiack, 1998). Thus, the judge didn’t find anything that the club that could have prevented the situation. Hence, the highlighted lightning is an act of god.

Case analysis

The standard principle regarding the rulings made about the lightning case, judges have dismissed the case on bases that “lightning is an act of God and it cannot be attributed to any level of negligence towards the defendants.


The motion judge’s decision was informed by the fact that lightning is an act of God. Therefore, the defendant cannot be held responsible for the injuries caused by the lightning. Consequently, the case was reversed and remanded since the plaintiff arguments were inconsistent with the court findings.


I agree with the court decision. Thus no one should be held responsible for the natural causes. The sports managers should be informed of weather conditions to avoid the occurrence of such accidents.


Shadiack, M. A. (1998). Torts–Act of God–Does a Golf Course Owner and/or Operator Owe a Duty of Care to Their Patrons to Protect Them from Lightning Strikes: Maussner v. Atlantic City Country Club, Inc. Seton Hall J. Sport L.8, 301.



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