Fact pattern and procedural history
Defendant arranged and promoted an illegal prizefight in which the plaintiff was a willing participant. The plaintiff suffered injuries and sued defendant and his opponent, though failed to serve his opponent. Dismissed by trial court.
Questions of law
Can a third party who encourages or arranges for injury to another be held liable for battery? Does the consent of the victim have any effect? Is the legality of a prize fight an element?
The court reversed, holding that the illegality of the fight promotion rendered the defendant promoter liable for plaintiff’s injuries regardless of whether the plaintiff could have successfully sued his opponent. The court invoked reference to strict liability and cited numerous statutes and legislative declarations concerning the proper management and administration of legal prize fights. Because the fight was illegal, the question of consent or assumption of risk was moot.