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$________ – Homeowner Negligence – Sports and Recreation – Plaintiff contends defendant 11-year-old neighbor acts in reckless manner by releasing golf putter, as he is propelling tennis ball into back yard fence – Putter strikes 6-year-old minor plaintiff, causing severe skull fracture – Cranial surgery involving surgical hardware installation of plates and screws – Permanent facial scarring that is hidden by hair – No functional deficits.

Ocean County, NJ

The then 6-year-old plaintiff male, together with his older brother, were playing in their backyard with the defendant 11-year-old next door neighbor and his younger brother, and were engaged using a putter to drive a tennis ball into the backyard fence. The plaintiff contended that the 11-year-old defendant acted recklessly in letting go of the putter on the follow through, resulting in the putter flying into the minor 6-year-old plaintiff’s skull.

The defendant denied that the incident occurred in the manner advanced by the plaintiff. The defendant contended that as the 11-year-old moved the putter back, the infant plaintiff moved into the path of the putter, denying that it left the defendant’s hand.

The plaintiff, and his brother, supported the plaintiff’s version. The defendant and his brother supported the defendant’s version. The defendant also pointed out that the actions of the defendant should be evaluated on the basis of a reasonable 11-year-old.

The defendant also maintained that in this case involving recreational activities, the plaintiff could only prevail upon a finding of reckless conduct on the part of the 11-year-old defendant. The defendant motion for summary judgment included arguments on this issue, and the court denied the motion without prejudice, and is subject to reconsideration at the close of plaintiff’s case at trial.

The plaintiff maintained that the severe skull fracture required surgery, including the surgical hardware installation of plates and screws. The plaintiff contended that he was left with permanent extensive facial scarring that is hidden by his hair.

The plaintiff is now 18 years old, and suffered no functional deficits. The case settled following arbitration for $________.

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