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 Utah 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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