A woman from Hermosa Beach won a $3 million lawsuit filed against Manhattan Beach after being struck by a flying golf disc at Polliwog Park in 2012. Noreen Goodbody settled for this amount after losing vision in one eye when a flying golf disc hit her in the face. Goodbody, who was watching her daughter participate in a cross-country race at the time, filed the lawsuit in 2013.
The flying golf disc caused severe injuries to Goodbody’s eye, including a traumatic cataract and detached retina. Despite undergoing four surgical procedures, doctors were unable to restore her vision. Goodbody was out of work for four months and is unable to perform certain tasks, such as driving on freeways, due to a lack of depth perception caused by her injuries. Her medical bills ended up costing more than $202,000, and she continues to experience medical issues that might require additional surgeries.
Most of the $3 million settlement was covered by Manhattan Beach’s risk management group policy, while the city itself paid $500,000 toward these costs. Following Goodbody’s injuries, the city took steps to limit the risk of further incidents, such as covering flying golf disc baskets during busy times at the park or when special events took place. However, a second incident occurred in 2013 when a 6-year-old boy was hit in the head by a flying golf disc, leading to life-threatening brain injuries and another lawsuit filed against the city. In 2014, City Council officials decided to close down the flying golf disc course for an indefinite period of time.
According to Goodbody’s attorney, David Lederer of Lederer & Nojima, the park is unsuitable for this type of sport. In fact, Manhattan Beach’s Municipal Code prohibits any form of golf games in local parks and playgrounds. Numerous complaints have been made by drivers and pedestrians since the course opened in 2005. The layout of the course requires players to throw heavy flying golf discs near benches, the park’s playground and across paths. With the indefinite closure, city is ensuring that no other flying golf disc incidents occur.