Brief Fact Summary.
Cartwright died due to a punch from Geysel during a fight that was illegal under a statute.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
One who consents to engage in prize fighting, though the act is illegal, should not have a right to recover any damages sustained as a result of the combat and profit off of the illegal conduct.
Cartwright died due to a punch from Geysel during a fight that was illegal under a statute. The complaint did not allege any anger, malicious intent to serious injury, or excessive force.
May Hart sue for wrongful death when Geysel and Cartwright consented to the illegal prize fight?
No, Hart may not sue for wrongful death because Geysel and Cartwright consented to the illegal prize fight.
A majority rule required anger, malicious intent to injure, or excessive force to find liability. A minority rule stated that mutual combat in anger would not render liability unless excessive force or malicious intent to do serious injury was present.
Neither rule is applicable because of the lack of anger.
In enforcing the criminal statute against prize fighting, it is not necessary to reward the individual who suffered the most as a result of the fight. Doing so would allow the individual to profit off of the illegality of his conduct.