Plaintiff appealed a grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant, a fellow golfer, with whom plaintiff was playing in a foursome. Defendant rented a golf cart, and plaintiff alleged that defendant – contrary to the rental agreement – allowed the cart to be driven by another golfer, who was allegedly unfamiliar with its operation and who, while operating the cart, struck plaintiff, causing his injuries. The trial judge granted summary judgment because, among other things, he viewed the rental agreement as a contract of adhesion that benefitted only the golf course, not other golfers like plaintiff.
In reversing, the court held, among other things, that the rental agreement was irrelevant because defendant owed plaintiff a common law duty to refrain from negligently entrusting the golf cart to an allegedly incompetent operator. The court also rejected the argument that the rental agreement was a contract of adhesion, as well as defendant's argument that plaintiff was not a beneficiary of the promises contained in that agreement.