Fore Heavens Sake

An eight-year legal battle may be coming to an end when the New York Court of Appeals will hear a case Tuesday that involves a golfer's wayward shot hitting a friend in the eye and blinding him.

The Empire State's top court will hear arguments concerning whether Dr. Anoop Kapoor was negligent and should have yelled "Fore!" after his ball clubbed out of the rough at Dix Hills Park Golf Course smacked his playing partner, Dr. Azad Anand, in the face.

The incident happened in October 2002. After tests showed that the projectile blinded Anand in one eye, he sued his friend. After hearing the case, a lower court ruled that Anand took the risk of being hit by a golf ball, and dismissed it.

A subsequent Appellate Division court agreed, concluding that Anand was "not in the foreseeable danger zone" and his friend had no duty to yell a warning.

At the midlevel court, the justices went into detail about whether a verbal warning was needed before taking a swing at the ball. They also covered doctrines, existing case law, and the potential danger that golfers encounter when stepping onto a course.

A dissenting justice commented that there is a factual question under existing case law about whether Kapoor violated the rules of golf and unreasonably increased his partner's risk.

In the previous hearings it became apparent that the two opposing parties could not agree about the distance each golfer was away from the other and the angles of the fateful shot.

Kapoor also claims that he did shout a warning after he hit his ball - a claim denied by Anand and a third player in their group. Both testimonies will be given on November 16.

Needless to say, the Court of Appeals will have to try to find a hole in one (pun courtesy of London's Daily Mail).

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