(CN) – A New York golf club employee can sue his former boss for hitting him with a club in the groin and causing him to lose a testicle, a state appeals court ruled.
William Montgomery worked as a locker-room attendant at Glens Falls Country Club.
While Montgomery was watching one of the club pros assemble golf clubs, the general manager at the time, Richard Hackenburg, entered the pro shop, according to court records.
Montgomery claimed that Hackenburg then raised the shaft of a golf club and hit him in the left testicle.
Montgomery said he stepped back in pain while Hackenburg laughed and left the room. Hackenburg countered that the contact was accidental and minimal and that Montgomery did not indicate he was hurt.
Still, Montgomery had to have surgery to remove the testicle. He also received workers’ compensation benefits and sued Hackenburg.
The manager moved to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that workers’ compensation was Montgomery’s sole remedy.
The trial court denied the motion, stating that issues of fact remained over whether Hackenburg was acting outside the scope of his employment when the incident occurred.
Hackenburg appealed, but the Albany-based New York Supreme Court Appellate Division’s Third Department affirmed the decision in a March 9 opinion written by Justice Michael C. Lynch.
The judge noted that Montgomery was not engaged in horseplay.
“The differing versions of the event presented by the parties, as well as the two club employees who supported plaintiff's version, raise genuine questions of fact as to whether defendant intended to strike plaintiff and did so in an excessive manner given the sensitive area of impact,” Lynch wrote.
He added, “Although defendant was not directly disciplined by the club and resigned to take a new position a few months after the incident, a question of fact also remains as to whether the club condoned defendant's actions.”
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