Anytime a person attends a baseball game, they are putting themselves at risk of serious injury. That’s because foul balls, or bats, can occasionally go into the stands and cause catastrophic damage.
While some Major League Baseball (MLB) teams have taken measures to ensure that going to the ballpark is a fun, safe experience for fans, these steps don’t always ensure the safety of those in attendance.
One person recently learned this the hard way. This week, a woman sitting in the second row at Tropicana Field, watching a contest between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago White Sox, was struck in the head by a foul ball. The ball left the playing field and hit the woman near her left eye. The scary incident delayed the game for some time as the woman received emergency medical assistance and was then taken to a hospital. (Thankfully, she has since been listed in stable condition.)
What is particularly frightening about this latest fan injury at a professional baseball game is that the ball managed to slip through a hole in the protective netting around home plate, raising concerns about just how effective this netting actually is.
After the game, Tampa Bay Rays officials decided to install an additional portion of netting. The hope is that this extra netting will prevent a repeat of the latest mishap.
However, some observers are criticizing MLB for not doing enough to prevent fan injuries in the first place. During this past offseason, the league recommended that all teams install additional protective netting in stadiums so that fewer fans would be at risk of catastrophic injury caused by a foul ball. However, not every team took the recommendations to heart; the majority of MLB teams chose not to install the extra netting.
Although fans injured while attending a baseball game may be able to pursue compensation for their injuries through a premises liability claim, the likelihood of success in this kind of lawsuit is minimized by what could be called “assumption of risk.” That’s because the tickets for MLB games usually include a waiver of liability, in small print, stating that the fan assumes some risk of injury by attending the sporting event.
Regardless, anyone who sustained an injury at a baseball game, football game, hockey game or any other sports event should absolutely speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer before making any final decisions about whether to proceed.
For additional information about the latest baseball fan injury, check out the Yahoo.com article, “Rays Wisely Add More Protective Netting Following Injury to Fan.”
At Andres & Berger, we are passionate about helping injured clients get the compensation they need, want and deserve. We’re on your side and we will fight for you and your family. Contact our Cherry Hill, NJ office today for a free consultation about your personal injury case.