Case Brief: Savino V. Robertson

Brief the case of Savino v. Robinson. The four elements of a brief are summarized in the Case Brief Guidelines and Rubric document.

In  addition to the brief, discuss negligence issues in Savino v.  Robertson, the case’s connection to Nabozny v. Barnhill, and what  constitutes “organized competition.” (this part goes in the questions area at the end)

Case briefs should be one page in length (single spaced), use 12-point Times New Roman font and one-inch margins, and list citations
Case Citation:
Plaintiff v. Defendant, Volume Source Page (Court Date)
(e.g., Allen v. Dover Co-Recreational Softball League, 148 N.H. 407 (2002))
Body (one paragraph for each element):
Facts: Outline the pertinent facts in the case, highlighting those with bearing on the court’s final decision.

Issues: Present the specific legal question(s) before the court. If the court raised/addressed multiple issues, address each separately.
Your issues should be concisely stated in question form and specific, not generalizations.

Holding (Decision): Outline the final decision of the court in this case. Answer the questions that you stated in the issues section.

Rationale: Your brief should conclude with a summary of the explanation by the court of its findings. Why did the court answer the
legal question in the manner that it did?

Additional Questions/Discussion: In some of the case briefs additional discussion questions have been provided for you to answer.
Provide a brief (no more than one page, single spaced) answer to these questions. You must justify and support your answers.


Savino v. Robinson, 557 N.Y.S.2d 712 (N.Y. App. Div. 1990)

Facts: The plaintiff, Savino, was a softball player who participated in an organized softball league. The defendant, Robinson, was the manager of a team in the same league. During a game, the defendant intentionally threw a ball at the plaintiff, causing him to suffer physical injury.


  1. Was the defendant liable for the plaintiff’s injury caused by his intentional actions during the game?
  2. Does participating in organized competition exempt the defendant from liability for intentional or reckless conduct?

Holding: The court found that the defendant was liable for the plaintiff’s injury. The court also held that participating in organized competition does not exempt individuals from liability for intentional or reckless conduct that causes injury to others.

Rationale: The court noted that individuals participating in organized competition owe a duty of care to their fellow participants to not engage in intentional or reckless conduct that may cause injury. The court held that this duty of care extends to both intentional and reckless conduct, regardless of whether the conduct occurred during the course of the competition.

Additional Questions/Discussion:

  1. What is the connection between Savino v. Robinson and Nabozny v. Barnhill? The case of Nabozny v. Barnhill, 42 F.3d 1410 (7th Cir. 1994), is similar to Savino v. Robinson in that it also involves the question of liability for intentional or reckless conduct during organized competition. In Nabozny, a student was intentionally injured by another student during a gym class, and the court held that the defendant was liable for the plaintiff’s injury. Like Savino, Nabozny illustrates the principle that individuals participating in organized competition owe a duty of care to their fellow participants and can be held liable for intentional or reckless conduct that causes injury.
  2. What constitutes “organized competition”? “Organized competition” refers to a structured and organized activity that involves competing against others. This can include organized sports leagues, tournaments, competitions, and other similar events. The key element of organized competition is that it involves a competition against others, with rules and structures in place to govern the competition.
  3. What is negligence in the context of Savino v. Robinson? Negligence in the context of Savino v. Robinson refers to a failure to exercise the standard of care owed to others during organized competition. In this case, the court held that the defendant was liable for the plaintiff’s injury because he failed to exercise the standard of care owed to his fellow participant by intentionally throwing a ball at him during the game. The defendant’s actions were deemed to be intentional or reckless, and thus constituted a breach of the duty of care owed to the plaintiff.
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