A drunken round of golf has cost one man more than $225,000 and another man a lifetime of pain.
A Nova Scotia Court of Appeal decision released Friday has upheld a Nova Scotia Supreme Court decision awarding an injured golfer $85,000 in damages, $67,500 in lost income and $75,000 for lost future earning capacity.
The case is the result of a golf game played over seven years ago. The decision does not say where the game was held.
On June 18, 2002, Alan Bezanson and Travis Hayter, accompanied by two other men, headed out to play golf.
The game followed a wedding celebration and along with their clubs, the golfers were packing tequila, marijuana and beer.
According to the decision, by the time the group hit the 16th hole, Mr. Hayter had smoked a joint and drank nine beer plus about 280 millilitres of tequila.
It was on that hole, that the game went south.
Mr. Hayter was the last to hit. His first shot went into the trees. He hit a second shot which landed on the fairway. Believing Mr. Hayter was finished, the others headed toward their balls. That’s when Mr. Hayter hit a “Happy Gilmore” shot with a running windup. The ball headed straight for Mr. Bezanson.
Mr. Bezanson heard someone yell “heads up,” and had just enough time to put up his hand to protect his head, when the ball hit him on the wrist and then bounced to his chest.
“The defendant’s conduct breached the standard care required of a golfer playing on a course with other golfers,” the appeal decision quoted the trial judge.
The injury permanently damaged Mr. Bezanson’s radial nerve or its distribution from the wrist, and Mr. Bezanson suffered complex regional pain syndrome as a result.
The ongoing pain in his hand and wrist has made it hard for the 38-year-old married woodsman, who has three children, to cut wood. He has been able to do light farm work.
In reaching their decision, the panel of justices rejected Mr. Hayter’s appeal of the initial court’s decision that awarded the cash to Mr. Bezanson. They also denied Mr. Bezanson’s appeal for more money.
Both Mr. Bezanson and Mr. Hayter must pay their own costs resulting from the appeal, the decision states.