Spectator Carted Off The Court At NBA Game

Spectator Carted Off The Court At NBA Game

Ellie Day compared getting unintentionally tackled by LeBron James to getting hit by a truck.

Ms. Day, whose husband won the PGA Championship last August, was courtside for a game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder. When Mr. James dove for a loose ball in the fourth quarter, he landed on top of Ms. Day, who then crashed to the floor, injuring her head and neck. First responders immobilized her on a stretcher and transported her to a local hospital, where she was treated for concussion symptoms. She was released a few hours later and is reportedly quite sore but otherwise fine.

The couple resides in Westerville, Ohio with their children.

Assumption of the Risk

The core of this negligence defense is twofold: the voluntary assumption of a known risk. Otherwise, assumption of the risk would apply to almost any everyday activity that has some risk involved, including driving to work or taking a shower. Although it is not a complete defense in most cases, insurance companies routinely argue that the plaintiff assumed the risks in a situation in order to shift as much liability as possible away from the defendant.

At a practical level, there are three subcategories of this negligence defense, and each one has many nuances.

  • Primary: Professional athletes cannot sue their opponents for injuries they sustain during the course of play; the same logic probably applies to amateur athletes in a pickup game. Fights between contestants, especially if they occur on the parking lot after the game is over, are in more of a grey area.
  • Express: Health clubs and other organizations often require participants to sign a release. In New York, these agreements are void if the provider receives a fee from the participant. In other cases, the agreements have so much “legalese” that reasonable people cannot understand them. Waivers may also be invalid on the grounds that they are take-it-or-leave-it contracts of adhesion.
  • Implied: The above incident falls into this category. In a hypothetical lawsuit, Ms. Day could not recover if Mr. James proved that she voluntarily assumed the risk of a 249-pound man colliding with her at courtside.

    In all affirmative defenses, including assumption of the risk, the defendant has the burden of proof.

    The insurance company looks for any way possible to reduce the plaintiff’s damage. For a free consultation with attorneys who are on your side, contact our office. We have six locations statewide.


Last year we recovered over $15 million for our clients. With that money, our clients are able to pay their medical bills. They are getting their lives back on track after serious injuries and they are holding to account the people who wrongfully injured them.


$1,100,000.00 - Female, 35: Motorcyclist hit by oncoming traffic

Our client was riding on the back of a motorcycle going south when the defendant heading north made a left hand turn in front of the client, causing the accident.
Injuries: Fractured left leg which required surgery

We understand motorcyclists because we ride


$5,100,000.00 - Female, 43: Cyclist hit by truck

Our client was riding her bicycle when a truck was turning and came up onto the sidewalk. Our client went to back up and the truck struck her.
Injuries: Catastrophic injuries to entire right side of body below the waist resulting in amputation of the right leg and hind quarter; bladder rupture; multiple rib and spinal fractures.

$3,500,000.00 - Female, 33: Serious personal injury

Our client fell down the stairs and was knocked unconscious at a New York City
subway station.
Injuries: Fractured skull, subsequent seizure disorder.

$4,300,000.00 - Male, 63: Pedestrian hit by bus

Our client was crossing a street when a bus hit a car and the car spun and hit him.
Injuries: Traumatic brain injury; fractured shoulder.

$750,000.00 - Male, 35: Workers' compensation

Our client was changing a pump strainer on a hot air furnace when he stepped on a board and fell through the ceiling.
Injuries: Herniated disc which required surgery.

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