Take Me Out to the Ball Game
A recent lawsuit claims that Major League Baseball is negligent because it does not do enough to protect customers from foul balls and splintered bats, a situation that is all too familiar to fans of the Missions, Express, and other area teams.
The action was filed in a California federal court. The plaintiffs claim that a combination of faster pitches and wood bats, along with distractions like video monitors and WiFi, give potential victims very little time to react to a dangerous situation. Moreover, according to court documents, “attention is often no defense to serious injury” because “[s]ome in exposed sections are sitting closer to the action than the batter is to the pitcher.”
In addition to a 2014 survey which claimed that 1,750 fans are injured at MLB games every year, the lawsuit points to a number of disturbing incidents from 2015, including a broken bat that hit a spectator in Boston’s Fenway Park. The fan’s injuries were initially described as “life-threatening,” although the person is now expected to recover.
An MLB spokesperson stated the league would “re-evaluate” its stance on protective netting and other safety measures.
Baseball teams are not the only businesses that must protect their customers. In fact, the Restatement of Torts emphatically states that business owners have an incredibly high duty to business invitees. This group of people includes paying customers, such as shoppers and hotel guests, as well as visitors who are on commercial property but do not spend money, including window-shoppers and job applicants.
While most owners have a duty to protect visitors from latent or hidden defects, like loose floorboards or unsecured floor mats, business invitee liability goes much further. The owner must also protect visitors from known or obvious defects, like wet spots on the floor or debris in a stairwell. To fulfill this duty, the owner must regularly inspect the premises and take action to make sure the property is safe.
Damages in a landowner negligence case typically include compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are also available, in some cases.
If you or a loved one was injured at a store, hotel, apartment building, or other commercial property, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney for a free consultation. An attorney can arrange for you to see a doctor, even if you have no money or insurance.