Lawsuit Involving Golf-Club-Inflicted Head Injury in Full Swing

An incident at Birnam Wood Golf Club (pictured), involved one member's head coming into contact with another member's club on the driving range, and a legal dispute currently centers on injuries sustained. | Credit: Paul Wellman/file photo

In a legal dispute involving a golf-club-to-the-head injury that took place at the Birnam Wood Golf Club driving range three years ago, Judge Colleen Sterne declined to issue the protective order sought by the victim ​— ​Alan Cerf ​— ​from questions posed by attorneys representing the member wielding the club, William Woodward. Both Cerf and Woodward are members of the club; Cerf is a financial manager. 

On the Feast of St. Barbara ​— ​the patron saint for those facing imminent doom ​— ​both were teeing off at the Montecito club’s driving range. When Cerf bent down to place his ball on the tee, he charged he got whacked upside the head by the club swung by Woodward. He later sued Woodward, claiming Woodward had negligently encroached into his space at the time of the accident. Woodward denies the charge, insisting he was well within the confines of his stall. Cerf claims injuries from the incident left him with “post-concussion syndrome, headaches, and dizziness.” 

Woodward’s attorney peppered Cerf with more than 35 questions that Cerf’s attorney objected were “unwarranted in number.” Likewise, he sought refuge from the “complexity or quantity” of queries, citing legal code designed to shield parties from “unwarranted annoyance, embarrassment, oppression or undue burden and expense.” Judge Sterne rejected these arguments and ordered him to answer the questions. Woodward’s “requests for admissions,” Sterne concluded, concerned Cerf’s “alleged head injury and medical treatment,” which was germane to the litigation.

Correction: The original version of this story stated William Woodward was a founding partner of Anthem Venture Partners, which was actually founded by a different person with the same name.

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