AMSTERDAM - A man who says he was injured by a ricochetting golf ball at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course will have his day in court after a state appeals court ruled a lower court was correct in declining to dismiss the case.
The Third Judicial Department of the Supreme Court's appellate division, in a ruling Thursday, agreed with Supreme Court Justice Joseph Sise's earlier decision to not grant a summary judgement to the city, which was seeking dismissal of a suit brought by Weston L. Shapiro.
Shapiro was teeing off on the 10th hole in August 2009 when his ball struck the top of a concrete-block retaining wall and bounced back, striking him in the head, according to the lawsuit. He suffered permanent injury, requiring stitches and cosmetic scarring, according to court documents.
The retaining wall had recently been installed to replace a rotting wood wall, but the blocks stood 1 to 3 inches above the level of the grass, making it possible for a ball to strike the concrete, according to testimony cited in the court ruling.
James Derrick, the maintenance supervisor of the city-owned course, testified the level of the concrete would be a hazard to people teeing off and noted the grass in that area was cut taller, obscuring the concrete, according to the court ruling.
"In light of the evidence that the concrete wall was above grade and obscured in an area where it was an acknowledged hazard to individuals teeing off, we agree with the Supreme Court that there are triable issues of fact," the judges wrote in their decision.
Attorney Gregory A. Gascino of the Long Island-based firm of Congdon, Flaherty, O'Callaghan, Reid, Donlon, Travis & Fishlinger, who argued the appeal on behalf of the city, declined to comment because the litigation is ongoing.
Shapiro's attorney, Peter M. Califano of Amsterdam-based Horigan, Horigan & Lombardo, also declined to comment.