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Hudson v. Craft - 195 P.2d 857 (Cal. Dist. Ct. App. 1948)

Rule:

The assent of the person whose interest is invaded does not affect the criminal character of the other's conduct although it does affect the tortious character thereof except as stated in section 61. Thus, while the actor may be subjected to punishment for the crime, he is not civilly liable to the person assenting to the criminal invasion.

Facts:

Respondent Craft Shows operated a circus or carnival in Oakland, and in connection therewith, also operated a boxing and wrestling concession for which a separate admission fee was charged. The appellant Guy Hudson, an 18-year old man, was solicited by respondent to participate in a boxing match and prize fight for a consideration to him of $5; Hudson voluntarily agreed to participate in the aforementioned match. Alleging that he was violently struck in and about the face and body, thereby, suffering a  broken jaw, concussion of the brain, numerous bruises and contusions in his face and body, Hudson sued respondent for $15,000 damages for personal injuries. Hudson’s father sued in a separate count for the son’s medical and surgical expenses. Respondent filed a demurrer, raising the question as to whether one engaging in an activity, while being aware of the possibility of bodily injuries, assumed the risk of injury so as to bar his recovery.

Issue:

Can the respondent be held civilly liable for the injuries obtained by the teenager in a boxing match organized by the respondent?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The Court held that the one who has sufficiently expressed his willingness to suffer a particular invasion has no right to complain. Furthermore, the Court averred that no one shall profit by his own wrongdoing. In the case at bar, the Court held that the respondent was a party to the invasion because it induced it; however, nobody identified with the invasion can be held civilly liable whatever his criminal responsibility or moral culpability might be.

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