the REAL Hole-in-One Story
They (these false claimants rule breakers) . . . are cheating ALL of US

They (these false claimants rule breakers) . . . are cheating ALL of US

By: Rob Harris

Thanks to Bill Kelleher, attorney at Connecticut’s Robinson & Cole, for alerting me to an interesting hole-in-one dispute that recently arose at Mohegan Sun Country Club’s Pautipaug Golf Course. Don DiMartino was playing in an American Liver Foundation charity event. As often occurs at such galas, a substantial prize was offered for any golfer making a hole-in-one on the par 3 17th. The prize was a three year lease on a new car. Nearby dealer Girard Ford sponsored the prize, and, naturally, positioned the car and appropriate advertising materials in prominent view of the participants. DiMartino holed his tee shot, jubilation followed, and found a buyer on Craig’s List for his old car. Girard Ford, to hedge the risk, did what promoters often do, by securing an insurance policy. The policy stated that the ace must occur on a hole measuring at least 170 yards. The markers at Pautipaug’s 17th, however, were positioned only 157 yards from the hole. Thus, the insurance company refused to pay, and Girard Ford refused to deliver the car to DiMartino. Girard Ford spun the story as best it could, with its general manager stating: “You can’t imagine how bad I feel that he didn’t win a car from us. There were mistakes made. Maybe I should have been there that day and I might have seen that they staked the wrong distance for the tee. But rules are rules.” He then tried to pass the blame onto DiMartino: “This is a charity event. People come because they want to support this organization. They don’t expect to win prizes,” Collins says. “This guy should get over it and forget about it.” The American Liver Foundation, however, stepped up. “We are going to do what’s right. This golfer won fair and square. He hit a hole in one. We will get him the car he’s won, but we’ll get it from another dealership.” Thus, while the story will end okay for DiMartino, the charity will take a financial hit. The question for the legal eagles is where should the liability lie. If the Ford dealership agreed to sponsor, did it have the responsibility to ensure the car was positioned in accordance with the insurance policy’s terms and conditions? It certainly received the benefits of sponsorship, promoting the dealership during the event. Did the dealership disclose to the charity or to the golf course where the car needed to be positioned. Who should bear the risk? Thoughts, anyone?   The American Liver Foundation

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