Woman struck by golf ball files suit

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— A district judge will decide Sept. 19 on a trial date for a lawsuit filed by a woman struck by a golf ball while playing at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Golf Course.

Nancy Jane Hurr was struck in the face with a golf ball while finishing the first hole at the course May 4, 2000. She filed a complaint last year seeking at least $500,000 from 22-year-old Drew Goranson, the man who hit the ball.

Several extensions have been granted for the case, and in a phone conference Thursday, District Judge Michael O'Hara extended discussions on setting a trial date until 9 a.m. Sept. 19.

The force of the impact fractured her right eye socket and resulted in extensive mouth and face surgery, according to her complaint filed April 26, 2002. In her complaint, Hurr said that Goranson was negligent because he did not warn her of his shot.

Goranson is an accomplished golfer who has worked for the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Golf Course as a caddy and a bag-room attendant, according to court documents.

Originally, Hurr filed a complaint against Ski Time Square Enterprises because she charged that Goranson was working for the company at the time of the accident. Once it was determined that Goranson did not start working until May 20, 2000, the company was dropped from the lawsuit.

According to a response by Hurr's attorney in court files, there were no leaves on trees on the right side of the first hole at the golf course so there was an unobstructed view of a person 80 to 220 yards away from the green.

The response also said that Hurr was standing within the "zone of danger," within which a golfer should give a person notice of an impending shot.

Documents from Hurr's lawyer also suggest there were fewer than a few seconds between the time the ball was hit and when it hit Hurr's face, suggesting Hurr did not have enough time to react to the ball.

A document from Goranson's lawyer said that Goranson was not negligent because Hurr was not standing where people intend to hit shots and because Goranson shouted "fore" as soon as he saw the shot was veering off course.

The document also said Goranson did not have a duty to warn Hurr of the shot because Hurr was aware or should have been aware of the shot. It said that according to interviews, Goranson had been signaled and told to go ahead by Chester Cynoski, who was golfing with Hurr at the time.

Originally, Hurr's companion Cynoski filed a claim for $250,000 because of the loss of affection, comfort and household services he suffered when Hurr was injured. Cynoski was later dropped from the lawsuit.


-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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