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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Robin Chrismon and Harold J. Brown volunteered to serve as coaches through Registered Teams of the Amateur Softball Association of America. In January 2002, while acting as a volunteer assistant coach at a 12-year-old-and-under girls softball team practice or tryout, Robin was injured when a bat being swung by Brown slipped from his hand and struck Robin in the face. Robin sued Brown and Registered Teams alleging negligence, gross negligence and assault. Robin’s husband Lonnie Chrismon asserted claims for loss of household services, loss of consortium, loss of income and mental anguish. Brown filed a traditional motion for summary judgment, asserting the affirmative defense of immunity under the Charitable Immunity and Liability Act of 1987. Registered Teams filed motions for summary judgment, asserting, among other things, that there was no evidence as t 1. a legal duty; 2. a breach of duty; and 3. damages proximately resulting from the breach. The trial court granted summary judgment dismissing all of the Chrismons’ claims. HOLDING:Affirmed. In their first issue, the Chrismons challenged the summary judgment for Brown on the ground that a fact issue existed as to whether Brown’s conduct fell outside the scope of civil immunity, because it was willfully negligent or committed with conscious indifference or reckless disregard for the safety of others. Under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code �84.004(a), volunteers of certain charitable organizations are generally immune from civil liability for any act or omission resulting in death, damage or injury if the volunteer was acting in the course and scope of the volunteer’s duties or functions in the organization. Brown’s summary-judgment evidence, the court stated, established that Registered Teams qualified as a charitable organization under the act and that Brown was acting in the course and scope of his duties as a volunteer of Registered Teams when the accident occurred. The court found that that evidence proved as a matter of law that Brown was entitled to immunity under �84.004(a). As for the Chrismons’ allegations that an exception to �84.004(a) applied, the court found that they failed to present evidence showing that despite an actual, subjective awareness of an extreme degree of risk, Brown proceeded with conscious indifference to the rights, safety or welfare of others. Thus, the Chrismons’ challenge to the summary judgment in favor of Brown failed. Second, the Chrismons alleged that Registered Teams was negligent and acted fraudulently in: 1. failing to implement an appropriate safety program; 2. selecting Brown as its agent; and 3. failing to notify the Chrismons that if Robin were injured while acting as a volunteer assistant coach, Registered Teams would deny recovery, because the head coach was a volunteer in a charitable organization. To counter Registered Teams’ no-evidence motion for summary judgment, in which Registered Teams attacked the elements of legal duty, breach of legal duty, and damages proximately resulting therefrom, the Chrismons in their summary-judgment response stated that Robin’s deposition transcript and affidavit were attached and that each raised “numerous fact issues that require a jury trial on the merits of this case.” The court, however, found that the attached deposition transcript contained roughly 120 pages of testimony and that the affidavit was no more than a conclusory statement of the Chrismons’ allegations against Brown. In addition, the court stated that the affidavit did not address the allegations of direct liability against Registered Teams at all. Therefore, the court found that the trial court did not err in granting Registered Teams’ motion as to direct liability. The court also found that the trial court did not err in granting Registered Teams’ motion for summary judgment as to Lonnie’s claims. Next, presuming for the sake of argument that Registered Teams could be vicariously liable for any intentional or grossly negligent conduct of Brown, the court found that the trial court did not err in granting Registered Teams’ motion for summary judgment as to the vicarious-liability claims. The trial court acted correctly, the court stated, because Robin did not claim that Brown intentionally caused her injury and the summary-judgment evidence did not raise a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Brown’s conduct constituted gross negligence. As a matter of first impression in the 14th Court of Appeals, the court went on to hold that: 1. a sports participant owes no “negligence duty” to another sports participant regarding risks inherent in the sport in question; 2. a sports participant owes a “negligence duty” to another sports participant regarding risks that are not inherent in that sport; and 3. regardless of whether the risk is inherent, a sports participant owes a duty not to cause injury to another sports participant by gross negligence or intentional conduct. OPINION:Frost, J.; Fowler and Frost, JJ. DISSENT:Edelman, J. “I disagree with the Majority Opinion’s decision to adopt an inherent risk limitation on the liability of sports injury defendants and to affirm on that basis the summary judgment against the Chrismons’ claims for vicarious liability against Registered Teams. “First, because neither party asserted adoption (or non-adoption) of the inherent risk standard in the trial court, no decision on that issue is before us for review, and it is not a ground on which the summary judgment can be affirmed. . . . Any decision on whether to adopt a completely different liability standard than any other Texas appeals court has applied should be made by the Texas Supreme Court after the issue has been properly developed in the lower courts and adequately briefed and analyzed, none of which has occurred in this case.”

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