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B.C. woman files lawsuit saying she was injured by stray golf ball while driving | CBC News



A B.C. woman has filed a lawsuit saying she suffered serious injuries after being struck by a stray golf ball while driving on a road that runs through a Vancouver Island golf course.

A notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court last week names the Victoria Golf Club, a club member and the District of Oak Bay as defendants.

In the claim, Evelyn Mohr says she was driving along Beach Drive, which bisects the golf club, on June 4, 2023, when an errant ball sailed through the open window of her vehicle and struck her in the face, according to the notice of civil claim. 

She suffered facial lacerations, a concussion, cognitive deficits, dizziness, nausea and injuries to her eye, cheek, neck and forehead, the claim says, leaving her with a permanent physical disability and affecting her quality of life and future earnings. 

The lawsuit alleges a club member “negligently struck a golf ball from the golf club that hit the plaintiff in the face, causing severe injuries.” 

It also accuses the club and district of negligence, saying they failed to provide proper protection and warnings in areas where there was a possibility of being struck by a ball. They are also accused of “approving negligent design that did not prevent errant golf balls from harming the public.” 

None of the claims have been tested in court. 

Caution sign installed 

A sign installed on the side of Beach Drive, north of Newport Avenue, reads “Caution. Errant golf balls. Park at your own risk.”

The club says on its website that its current layout was finalized in the 1920s after it decided “to end the practice of hitting tee shots on two holes across the ever-busier Beach Drive.”

According to its website, the Victoria Golf Club was founded in 1893 and is the oldest 18-hole golf course in Canada in its original location, and second oldest in North America.

CHEK News reached out to Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch, and the district replied saying it will not comment on any civil claims that are currently before the courts.

Victoria-based defence lawyer Michael Mulligan told CHEK News this isn’t the first lawsuit of its kind in B.C., adding that it would be up to the plaintiff to establish the golfer was negligent. 

“So, the test would be, did the golfer act as a reasonable golfer? Sometimes accidents happen, even when someone is acting reasonably. If that’s so, the golfer would not be responsible for the damage,” Mulligan said. 

“Essentially, the person who was hit would have to establish that the golfer was negligent or careless.”

When contacted by CBC News, the Victoria Golf Club declined to comment.

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