Posted by: Bob Gorman | May 6, 2017

Braves Settle Foul Ball Lawsuit

A lawsuit filed in 2012 by the parents of a 6-year-old girl who was severely injured by a foul ball at an Atlanta Braves game has been settled.  On August 30, 2010, the child and her father were seated behind the third base dugout when the youngster was struck in the head by a foul ball off the bat of Melky Cabrera.  The blow fractured the girl’s skull in 30 places and resulted in traumatic injury to her brain.  The family incurred over $66,000 in medical bills as a result of the injury.  Among other issues, the lawsuit against the Braves and MLB asserted that steroid use among players resulted in harder hit balls, thus increasing the speed at which foul balls fly into the stands.  The suit also contended that the Braves failed to have enough safety netting even though the team and MLB knew that seats behind the dugouts are prime targets for foul balls.

Early in the proceedings, the Braves attempted to get the case dismissed, citing the “Baseball Rule” (assumption of risk) as their rationale.  Georgia does not recognize that doctrine as a defense and the Georgia Court of Appeals refused to invoke it.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.  A Braves spokesperson did state that the team’s decision to extend safety netting to the far ends of the dugouts in their new ballpark, SunTrust Park, had nothing to do with this lawsuit.


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