New York's top court will hear arguments Tuesday about whether one Long Island doctor was negligent and should have yelled "Fore!" as a warning before taking a shot in 2002 that blinded his playing partner, another Long Island doctor, in one eye.
Dr. Azad Anand was injured when Dr. Anoop Kapoor took a shot from the rough Oct. 19, 2002, at a Dix Hills golf course. The two physicians and a third man had teed off from the first of nine holes and Kapoor's second shot had gone into the rough, court papers say. As Anan and the third man stood on the fairway, Kapoor hit a third shot, which veered right and struck Anand's left eye.
Anand testified that Kapoor never shouted "Fore," the traditional warning when others are in the likely path of the ball. Kapoor claimed he shouted a warning when he saw where his ball was going but Anand and the third man said they never heard it.
Anand estimated he was about 15 to 20 feet from Kapoor at the time, while the third man estimated that the distance was about 20 feet and that Anand stood at a point about 50 degrees away from the intended line of flight, according to a summary of the case posted on the website of the State Court of Appeals, which will hear arguments Tuesday. Kapoor testified that Anand stood at a much greater distance from him and at an angle of 60 to 80 degrees away from his intended line of flight.
Anand sued in October 2005 in State Supreme Court, Mineola, but a judge dismissed the case two years later, saying that getting hit by a ball is an inherent risk of the game.
A lower appellate court upheld that decision last year, saying that, in this case, Kapoor had no duty to give a warning because evidence indicates that Anand "was at so great an angle away from the defendant and the intended line of flight that he was not in the foreseeable danger zone."
Anand's attorney, Steven Cohn of Carle Place, said he would argue Tuesday that "the underlying facts of the case were so confusing as to the distance between the golfers that the court could not have made a decision as to where our client was in reference to the gentleman who hit the ball" and that it should be up to a jury to decide whether Anand was in the "foreseeable zone of danger," which, he contends, is peculiar to each golfer. "It should be a jury question and not a question of law," Cohn said.
Cohn said Anand seeks millions of dollars in damages because his practice now is "extraordinarily limited" because of his injury. Neither Kapoor nor his attorney could be reached Monday. With AP