Reporting Kurtis Ming
Do you ever think twice about driving by a golf course? Who’s responsible for the damage if a ball hits your car? A Dixon man called Kurtis after his windshield was damaged and no one was taking responsibility.
“This is where you can see the impact,” Says Sam Juarez, pointing to cracks spanning across his windshield.
They’re cracks, he says, caused by a golf ball that smashed into his windshield while driving by the Green Tree Golf Club in Vacaville.
Juarez has been driving past Green Tree Golf Club for years and never had a run-in with a golf ball until just recently.
“I kind of saw something, thought maybe it could have been a bird kind of in the distance. The next thing I hear was a big bang, which sounded like a gunshot,” said Juarez.
He went right to the clubhouse and spoke to a staffer.
“The lady did tell me that it has happened in the past,” said Juarez.
But Juarez says he was told it’s not the golf course’s responsibility to cover the damage, it’s the golfer’s.
“The golf course did send one of their employees out to go check and they found the two individuals. But all they did was just deny it and that’s all they could do,” said Juarez.
“If you hit a ball and that ball happens to head off and hurt somebody, you are responsible and you have a responsibility to step up,” said attorney Eric Ratinoff.
Ratinoff says while a golfer may be to blame, he doesn’t think that necessarily releases the golf course of all responsibility.
“If the golf course hasn’t at least taken reasonable measures to make sure the golf ball is either stopped with netting, whether it’s high enough or the netting is appropriate enough for the circumstances, then the golf course could be liable too,” said Ratinoff.
We contacted Green Tree Golf Club, which gave CBS13 the following statement:
“Thank you for your inquiry regarding Samuel Juarez’s claim. After reviewing his claim we continue to believe that the golf course is not liable for the damage to Mr. Juarez’s windshield. However, as a good will gesture, we arranged for his windshield to be replaced last weekend.”
Green Tree Golf Club
Despite the headache this incident caused, Juarez says he doesn’t plan to change his route to avoid passing the golf course.
“I guess I just take my chances and pray that it doesn’t happen again,” said Juarez.
If your car is hit near a golf course, Ratinoff says, like Juarez did, go right to the club house and make a claim. He says the golf course should know who is golfing there and they should be able to help you track them down. If the golf course doesn’t help you find the golfer who hit the ball, then Ratinoff says you can make a claim against the course.