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Friday, February 21, 2020

Baseball Fan Can Sue Over Foul Ball to the Face, California Appeals Court Rules

A foul ball to the face is not an anticipated part of the sport, nor an assumed risk for baseball spectators, according to an appeals court decision.

California’s Second District Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday that installing protective netting along the first- and third-base lines at ball parks would not necessarily alter the nature of the game, signaling a shift in the court’s interpretation of the primary assumption of risk doctrine.

A 12-year-old, referred to as Summer, brought the appeal against the United States Baseball Federation after a line drive foul ball damaged her optic nerve while attending the national team trials at California State University, Long Beach’s Blair Field in 2014, according to the opinion. Upon appeal, she alleges that changes to the sport including front-row seating closer to the field and distractions such as digital advertising and enhanced WiFi to encourage social media engagement have increased the risks for spectators at the park.

In opposition to Los Angeles Superior Court, the appeals court found that professional and college baseball organizations have a duty to fans beyond not creating any additional risk than the inherent danger of the activity, especially given that Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has mandated that teams roll out expanded protective netting for the 2020 season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 21, 2020 at 09:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
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