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Under the primary assumption of risk doctrine, there is no duty to eliminate or protect a plaintiff against risks that are inherent in a sport or recreational activity.
A customer of an outdoor haunted trail attraction was injured while fleeing from an actor who was wielding a gas-powered chain saw after the customer had gone through a false exit in the venue. In the customer's subsequent action for negligence and assault, the trial court granted summary judgment for the operators of the attraction. The trial court held that under the primary assumption of risk doctrine, the operators of the attraction did not breach any duty to the customer. The customer appealed.
Did the operators of the attraction breach a duty to the customer which would warrant recovery in favor of the customer?
The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment. Under the primary assumption of risk doctrine, the customer could not recover because the risk that a patron will be frightened, run, and fall was inherent in the fundamental nature of a haunted house attraction. Moreover, on the record, there was no evidence creating a triable issue that the attraction unreasonably increased the risk of injury beyond those inherent risks or acted recklessly.