Foul Balls

Can You Sue a Baseball Team Owner After Getting Hit by a Foul Ball?

Now that baseball season has started, tens of thousands of Southern Californians will either visit Dodger Stadium to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers or Angel Stadium of Anaheim to watch the Los Angeles Angels. Some might even make a trip down to San Diego to watch the Padres at Petco Park.

But sometimes, accidents can happen—whether it’s being struck by a foul ball or slipping on a wet surface and falling. If you suffer an injury at a baseball game, can you sue the baseball team owner?

Can I Sue if I Was Hit by a Foul Ball or Bat?

Probably not.

Fans assume a level of risk when attending a baseball game, but you may have a case if the stadium failed to take proper precautions to protect fans from flying objects during the normal course of play. For example, if the stadium failed to fix known holes in its netting or did not comply with industry safety standards, causing you to be injured, you may be able to hold the stadium liable for negligence.

You may notice on the back of each baseball game ticket are a few paragraphs in the fine print. This is a disclaimer used by the baseball team and the stadium to avoid any potential lawsuits if a fan is struck by a ball, bat, or another object.

Additionally, many states enforce the “baseball rule.” This rule means that fans have a duty to keep an eye out for any flying objects and take a reasonable duty to protect themselves. Stadiums are required to protect fans from the most dangerous areas of the seating—typically behind home plate—by using netting. The baseball stadium industry has regulations on how far netting must extend. Anyone who sits elsewhere in the stadium assumes the risk of injury by doing so.

If a person gets struck by a foul ball or bat while sitting in these exposed areas, then he/she is most likely unable to file a lawsuit against the stadium for any injuries suffered. However, if a person gets hit while sitting behind home plate, he/she could argue that the stadium failed to protect fans because the netting wasn’t large or strong enough.  

Getting Struck by a T-Shirt

Yes, you read that right. Sometimes injuries can happen due to a T-shirt gun.

In fact, a Texas woman has recently filed a lawsuit against the Houston Astros after claiming a T-shirt gun fired by the team mascot Orbit broke her finger. The lawsuit claimed those operating the gun didn’t receive proper training and that the team failed to warn fans about the dangers of T-shirt guns.

However, this isn’t the first time this type of injury has occurred. A fan sued the Chicago White Sox after getting injured while going after a shirt fired from a T-shirt gun, while another fan sued the Kansas City Royals for suffering an injury after a flying hotdog was thrown at him by a mascot.

The White Sox settled with the fan, while the Royals won their case.

If you have suffered an injury caused by the negligence in Pasadena, contact Tedford & Associates today and schedule a free consultation.


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