Vince Lombardi once said, “Football is not a contact sport, it’s a collision sport – dancing is a contact sport.” The Utah Supreme Court recently rendered a decision that held that injuries as a result of an incident that are inherent in a sport are exempt from liability in tort. In Nixon v. Clay, 2019 UT 32, the Court ruled that the Utah trial court was correct to dismiss an action for injuries which are inherent in a sport. This holding differs from the majority of the states which have a “contact sports” exception. Utah’s rule is more expansive, yet simpler. Basically, the law in Utah now is that a participant in a sport does not have to suffer tort liability for incidental contact inherent in a sport.
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