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Premises Liability and Class-action Lawsuit Filed against Major League Baseball

| Aug 3, 2015 | Firm News

Earlier this month, two law firms filed a class-action lawsuit against Major League Baseball (MLB) and MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, alleging that Major League Baseball had failed to properly protect spectators from foul ball and bat injuries at its games. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of an Oakland Athletics season-ticket holder who fears for her safety when she attends games. Her fear is based on the prospect of being struck by a ball or bat at a game. This fan sits in a location which draws a number of regular foul balls.

The lawsuit does not seek any monetary damages and merely wants the U.S. District Court to force MLB to install safety netting from foul pole to foul pole in all major and minor league parks. The current screening in place protects spectators who are directly behind home plate, while those spectators who sit in an area which is not netted are believed to assume the open and obvious risk of being struck by a ball.

The aim of the lawsuit is to implement more netting to provide a safer atmosphere to watch live baseball games. The lawsuit claims that 1,750 spectators are injured each year when struck with a baseball in the stands at games. According to the lawsuit the netting would reduce this number of injuries and provide a safer atmosphere overall.

Other sports leagues have implemented netting to provide a safer atmosphere. In 2002, after a 13-year-old girl was struck and killed by a hockey puck at a game, the National Hockey League (NHL) ordered teams to install netting above the glass in the area behind the nets, in order to protect fans from stray pucks.

This type of lawsuit is based on a notion known as premises liability. Property owners are responsible for certain injuries that occur on their property due to dangerous or defective conditions. Therefore under the theory of premises liability, the injured party seeks to hold the property owner legally responsible for these injuries. Click here for more on premises liability.

To establish a premises liability case, you must establish that the landowner failed to exercise reasonable care in keeping the premises safe. For instance some of the more common premises liability cases involve Slip and Falls, Swimming Pools or Parking Lot/Garage Injuries. Even a dangerous sidewalk or walkway may lead to a premises liability case.

If you have been injured on another person’s property, you may be able to recover for your injuries. Please consult with the premises liability attorneys at Martinez & Schill LLP to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. We work with clients throughout Southern California. There is no cost to you unless and until we win your case. Call 619-512-5995 for our San Diego Office or 951-200-4630 for Riverside.