Recently, a 28-year-old man died during a so-called “Tough Mudder” race. The Tough Mudder is an ever-increasingly popular military style race during which competitors are required to overcome some pretty dangerous obstacles to reach the finish line. As seen on the video attached to the article below, the man jumped into a 15-foot deep mud pool only to not resurface. In the video, what is most shocking is that lifeguards standing next to the pool did nothing for several minutes while spectators can be heard urging them to help.
Clearly this is a tragic occurrence during what was supposed to be a health, fun exercise. As the video mentions, it appears that the man’s family is considering a law suit in Maryland for wrongful death.
If this case where in Virginia, this would require some serious investigation. Virginia applies a rule called “assumption of the risk.” What that means is that if you knowingly partake in an activity that you should know is inherently dangerous, that you assume the risk involved in that activity.
I will say, at first sight of the title of this story, I thought assumption of the risk would be an issue. However, as the video shows, it wasn’t just that the man didn’t resurface. It’s also that lifeguards essentially stood around and did nothing while he apparently drowned. Perhaps the man assumed the risk of potentially injurying himself during this race. But I don’t think he assumed the risk of lifeguards simply not doing their job. What do you think?
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