Court Declines to Dismiss Lawsuit in Foul Ball Injury
A lawsuit filed by the father of a six-year-old girl who suffered skull fractures and brain injury after being struck by a foul ball at an Atlanta Braves game will continue. The Georgia Court of Appeals ruled that it will not dismiss the case, also refusing to adopt what is known as the “Baseball Rule.” Incident Details On May 30, 2010, the father had taken the child to Turner Field. During an at-bat by Melky Cabrera, the outfielder struck a line drive that travelled behind the third-base dugout, striking the six-year-old in the forehead. The ball fractured her skull in 30 places and caused traumatic brain injury. The lawsuit contends that there should have been netting in place as there had been many injuries in seats behind the dugout. Spectator Injuries It is difficult to know exactly how many fans are injured each year in baseball stadiums and at other sporting events as sports leagues try to keep that information quiet. It is known that the most dangerous areas to sit in a baseball stadium are along the first and third base lines as well as behind home plate, as the lawsuit regarding the child’s injuries states. However, in most states a law known as the “Baseball Rule” protects stadium operators from litigation as long as there is screening in place behind home plate, which was the case when the child was injured at Turner Field. Not Law in Georgia The appeals court upheld the ruling of Fulton County State Court Judge Patsy Porter who said that the Baseball Rule was not Georgia law. Judge Elizabeth Branch wrote in the unanimous three-judge opinion that they found “no error in the trial court’s refusal to make such a declaration of law,” allowing the father’s lawsuit to continue. Had the upper court found that the Baseball Rule was law in the state, the father’s case would have been null and void. When someone is injured at an event, and it is suspected proper protections were not in place, a personal injury lawsuit may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding an incident where injuries may have been caused or worsened by lack of safety precautions.