On August 30, 2010 at the Mets vs. Braves game at Turner Field, a six year old girl was struck by a foul ball which fractured her skull and damaged her brain. The line drive flew over the visitor’s dugout before anyone could get out of the way.
The child’s father filed a lawsuit against the Braves, its owner, Liberty Media Corp., and Major League Baseball Enterprises claiming that they were negligent for failing to provide proper protection for fans.
Mike Moran, the girl’s attorney, said, “It’s a very, very dangerous situation that can be easily remedied. They can make it a safer place for the fans, in particular the children, who go to games. … The easy remedy is to put up more netting.” One of the most common complaints about adding netting around the first- and third-base lines is that it obstructs the fans’ views.
The suit seeks unspecified damages for pain and suffering, punitive damages and compensation for the girl’s medical expenses, which are expected to surpass $100,000. Close to 200 lawsuits are filed every year by spectators hit by bats and balls at all levels of competitive baseball. These lawsuits rarely succeed.
Major League Baseball tickets include a warning on the back of tickets that says, “The holder assumes all risk and danger incidental to the game of baseball, whether occurring prior to, during or subsequent to, the actual playing of the game, including specifically … the danger of being injured by thrown or batted balls, thrown or broken bats.”
Chipper Jones, the Atlanta Braves’ third baseman, said, “You throw 90 to 100 miles per hour and you have a guy up there swinging 90 or 100 miles per hour and it’s just a recipe for disaster. What if that ball that hit Salazar hit a 5-year-old little girl in the front row over the top of the dugout? It would have killed her.”
Pulgini & Norton, LLP attorneys have handled personal injury claims for over 25 years in and around Boston and its surrounding areas. If you or a family member has been injured due to someone else’s negligence and would like to seek legal assistance, please contact us at (781) 843-2200 or (888) 344-2046 or email us.
Lawsuit filed for girl injured by foul ball at Braves game, ajc, July 18, 2012