Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice will soon be released in North America. The plot of the movie includes both superheroes consensually and emphatically beating each other up. So it appears reasonable to ask: could either one sue the other in court and seek damages for personal injuries after the fight ends?
To answer this question, let us assume that our superheroes are fighting in Canada.
In Canadian tort law, when two people engage in a fight and each accepts the risk of injury, neither may complain in a civil action of injuries suffered unless the other used excessive force (i.e. the defence of volenti non fit injuria).
The defence can only apply where it can be said that there is an understanding on the part of both parties that neither assumes any responsibilities to take care for the other’s safety, and there is no expectation that either party take such care. The parties must expressly or implicitly also agree to absolve each other of legal liability to sue for damages as a result of any harm resulting from the fight.
The defence has a very limited scope of application as most fights do not involve a pre-fight bargaining process whereby the parties negotiate the terms of the fight, or the level of force allowed.
So I suppose the answer is: yes, they can probably sue each other, particularly if either of them uses excessive force or steps outside the scope of what was consented to. By way of example:
a) Superman uses laser vision when only kicking and punching was agreed to;
b) Batman uses the Batwing when no tools or weapons are allowed; or
c) Superman <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiN0Lwvi7CA” target=”_blank”>uses this thing</a> to incapacitate and then beat up Batman.