Another Midsummer Classic is in the books and the American League continued its winning streak in the All-Star Game, besting the National League by one run. America’s pastime, baseball is as popular as ever. In fact, a petition in 2014 to make Major League Baseball’s Opening Day a national holiday gathered over 100,000 signatures (it didn’t work). There are 30 professional U.S. teams, though none in Kentucky. According to a 2015 analysis of which official baseball team page on Facebook has the most likes from people who live in each U.S. county, the majority of the Bluegrass state is Cincinnati Reds territory, with a smattering of St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, and Atlanta Braves fans.
No matter who you root for, attending an MLB game is a thrill, but it’s important to remember that players aren’t the only ones who can get hurt. While the small print on the back of your ticket might say that you are assuming the risk of injury by attending, that is limited to harm caused by the action of the game. For example, if you choose to sit behind home plate in the “zone of danger” and there are nets in place for a reasonable number of people in this zone, you likely cannot file a claim for injuries sustained by a foul ball or shattered bat.
Currently, there is much debate over responsibility when fans are injured or killed in falls over railings. Reaching too far to catch a ball, being intoxicated, and being suicidal have all been reasons for baseball stadium fatalities. Safety experts recommend that railings should be 42 inches or higher, and many building codes require that minimum when there’s a fall of at least 30 inches. However, there is a long-standing exception in seated areas for railings to be as low as 26 inches to avoid view obstruction. Raising front-row railings at a stadium would cost millions, although it was undertaken by the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in 2011 and there have been no falling deaths since.
On the other side of the coin, harm caused by the careless actions of other spectators or by the owners/operators of a stadium can be compensable. For example, a baseball facility that serves alcohol to someone that is visibly intoxicated may be liable for injuries that person subsequently causes in a drunken fistfight or DUI wreck. Other common areas of liability stem from:
- Escalator/elevator accidents
- Food poisoning
- Inadequate crowd control
- Injuries from thrown or dropped objects
- Lack of railings/improperly maintained railings
- Negligent or inadequate security
- Parking lot injuries (pedestrian accidents, tailgating, tripping hazards, traffic congestion)
- Slips and falls on wet or dirty surfaces, especially bathrooms and stairs.
As exciting as it is to see a game in person, spectators shouldn’t leave safety behind. If you have any questions about this topic, you can find out more by discussing it with one of the personal injury attorneys at the Johnson Law Firm. We have years of experience helping people, and we can help you. Our knowledgeable legal team will work closely with you every step of the way and will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Based in Pikeville, KY, we proudly serve communities throughout the Bluegrass State. Contact us today by filling out this evaluation form or calling us at 1-606-433-0682.