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The Marlins are probably gonna get sued after girl falls from a rock climbing wall at the ballpark

Jun 1, 2012, 8:49 AM EDT

Marlins Miami new logo

Last Saturday the Marlins had a carnival of some kind at the ballpark, and one of the features at the carnival was a rock climbing wall. You’ve seen these before: kids climb them with harnesses and stuff.  Well, when the harness doesn’t work, it’s bad news:

Emily Davis was testing her climbing skills during Saturday’s game. When she reached the top, her safety harness failed and she crashed on the pavement below, where there was no padding … Emily was first in line to climb the wall. Her father said he thinks the steel cable that was supposed to be connected to the harness wasn’t.

She suffered a concussion and bruising but is doing OK now and spoke with the Miami NBC affiliate about it. Her dad spoke too, and it sounds like things are gonna get all law-suity soon:

Jeff Davis said he blames the rock climbing wall company and the Marlins.

“If I have a rock-climbing wall at my house, and you come over to my party, and your kid falls in my front yard, I would feel, I don’t even care about who I hired, you’re in my house and my yard, I would feel responsible,” he said.

The Marlins said they’re investigating the incident.

And, presumably, talking to their lawyers and are getting ready to call the Davis’ lawyer and offer a settlement to cut this off before it gets going.

(thanks to Old Gator for the heads up)

  1. OchentaYcinco - Jun 1, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    Tough break , Fish. Next time, build a baseball stadium and not an amusement park/circus/aquarium.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 1, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    Concussions, especially at age 11, are nothing to sneeze at. This girl may not feel it today or next week. But she could be sitting on the beach one day in July and start getting migraines from the sunlight and it could be a direct result of this incident.

    Somebody should be sued for this as it is one of those rare times when the legal system can do its job and make sure this type of thing doesn’t happen again. How was there no padding down on hard concrete? How was the harness not working properly for the FIRST person of the night? Didn’t anybody TEST it?

    I don’t think the Marlins should be sued, but the company who ran the rock climbing apparatus should be responsible. I think Jeff Davis is just putting pressure on the Marlins to make sure they investigate and make sure that his daughter’s medical bills are taken care of, as well as any future problems resulting from an 11 year old brain getting shaken, not stirred.

    • Old Gator - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:24 AM

      Sounds like the harness was fastened incorrectly, which is the most egregious aspect of it. But the lack of mats at the bottom of the wall is just freakin’ ridiculous. This will be less a frivolous lawsuit than another form of stupidity tax.

    • brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      Davis sees the opportunity for a money grab and he is hitting it hard. If you don’t see padding at the bottom of a rock climbing wall your kid is about to get on then don’t let them on it. The dad should be sued for being an idiot.

      • ftlauderdaledad - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        “sees the opportunity for a money grab”……………………wow…….you know absolutely nothing regarding this.

        have you ever dragged your 7 year old son over a fence as you run towards your broken & unconscious daughter? ever ride in a rescue truck with your screaming child who is going in & out of conciuosness? hearing medics talk about exploded spleen/liver/kidneys & pressure in the abdomen while consoling your 7 year old son who witnessed the accident? ever get wrestled away by police from your daughter strapped to a gurney in a trauma center because you arent allowed in and listen to her call for you as they roll her away? ever look at x-rays showing your daughter’s vertebrate look like door stops instead of perfect rectangles? ever have an MRI tech point out the multiple fractures in multiple vertebrates of your child? ever have to call your wife & tell her what happened but you dont know what is going to happen?

        hopefully you’ll never know that feeling of desperation & helplessness.

        she was 1st in a LONG line of children waiting to climb the wall. i guess all of those waiting parents were idiots too.

        you will begin seeing padding every where at rock walls BECAUSE of this accident, but no traveling or temporary rock walls had padding before this. i’ll put my parenting skills & outcome of my kids up against yours any day.

  3. bleed4philly - Jun 1, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Sue em’

  4. plmathfoto - Jun 1, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Just got to the new stadium on Sunday. Had my reservations about going, and they proved to be well founded. This organization is minor league, wait actually I’m sure minor league franchises run their stadiums better. Here’s a list of things I knew going in, and some others that showed up actually being at the game:

    1) The location is terrible, they went into the Miami Orange Bowl area making it really hard for people to go from Broward and Palm Beach, the former location (on the Dade-Broward border line) was much better. Going on Sunday wasn’t as bad as trying to go to a night game as traffic wasn’t nearly as bad but…

    2) They built a new stadium and didn’t make any where near enough parking. This forces people to park on lawns or gas stations charging money etc. Once again not an issue at the other stadium.

    3) The old stadium scoreboard almost always had problems. At the new stadium they couldn’t even introduce the Marlins defense right, having the camera on the wrong guy, and the scoreboard, even though huge doesn’t show all the scores at one time of other games.

    4) The old stadium was famous for things mechanically not working. You see what happened with the rock climbing above, at the game we were at the escalator at the end of the game stopped going down and just started going up, then stopped entirely and every one had to be redirected.

    5) The old stadium always had a lot of the concessions closed for baseball games because of lack of attendance supposedly that they had open for the football games. Here we have a new stadium that’s baseball only, and they have a Mexican concession, we’re a few months into the season and there’s only one of them in the stadium and inexplicably it was closed on Sunday.

    6) The traffic and parking was atrocious, even using their lots.

    This is the same ballclub that didn’t have programs printed for opening day a few years ago, ran out of hot dogs, etc..

    Should be easy fixes, you would think with a new stadium they’d be on top of all this, well think again…

    • cerowb - Jun 1, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      Yeah, and those damn Marlins won’t get off my lawn.

    • Old Gator - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      A lot of those people parking on someone’s lawn are paying less than half of what the garage at Macondo Banana Massacre Stadium charges – five or ten bucks instead of twenty-five. For ten bucks I park on a driveway of a private home a three minute walk from the stadium that sits about thirty yards or so from the on-ramp to the 836, so I don’t get stuck in traffic like clueless auschlanders who drive down to Macondo from up in the States without knowing where they’re going or how to get around and then come on here and whine like menopausal suburban yuppie housewives about it.

      • mcsnide - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM

        What’s a suburban yuppie? Is that the human version of a jumbo shrimp?

    • brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:03 AM

      Stay on topic long winded one, this ain’t about hot dogs or programs it’s about daddy suing the big bad marlins because he let his kid on something he shouldn’t have. You are the reason I am lobbying for responses to be 160 characters or less. Whose with me guys?

      • savocabol1 - Jun 1, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        the amount of likes you obtained in your little rant proves you are the only one that should be limited to 160 characters

      • jimbo1949 - Jun 1, 2012 at 5:16 PM

        You should beg the guy holding the gun to your head, forcing you to read all those long comments you whine about, to just squeeze the trigger.

  5. chill1184 - Jun 1, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Get better Emily, hope your lawsuit gets a nice big settlement.

  6. Detroit Michael - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    So the girl with her parent looking on participates in an inherently dangerous but fun activity, falls and injures herself, but now seemingly is doing OK and the consensus is everyone hopes she sues and gets a big settlement? I don’t. If there are no damages (saying she might suffer future consequences hardly counts), then there’s no reason to receive payment.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      Seriously? It’s not like she was climbing Mount Everest here. She was doing kids rock climbing, which has ZERO inherent danger when people do their freaking jobs.

      If you don’t see where somebody needs to be punished for this, then you are nuts. Also, if you don’t see the possible long-term problems of a concussion, especially for an 11-year-old, then you are just being naive.

      • Detroit Michael - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:54 AM

        I’m not nuts and not naive. Please refrain from name-calling and stick to the issues.

        When and if she experiences long-term health problems due to the concussion and assuming the applicable statute of limitations, then she’d have damages and the girl and her parents can think about a lawsuit. That’s assuming the parents didn’t sign a liability waiver form.

        Lawsuits are supposed to compensate injured parties, not to punish the Marlins or the company that ran the wall-climbing event. No one has claimed criminal violations.

        We’ve got an overly litigious society. Hoping people get big settlements when they have essentially no identifiable damages doesn’t make sense to me.

      • Old Gator - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:03 AM

        DM: not true. Not all awards are compensatory. The punitive damages assignment of awards are precisely meant to punish plaintiffs for negligence and to deter the plaintiff in question from repeating that negligence as well as to deter others from the same sort of negligence. This is especially true when a judge or jury feels that negligence was the result of failure to perform due diligence in the routine pursuit of their business. I think a harness coming apart on a kid climbing a 20-foot wall, and the failure of the operator to provide mats at the bottom of the wall, are pretty good examples of such negligence.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:55 AM

        First, I didn’t call you any names(like moron or idiot). I described your thoughts on this issue. Which are both nuts and naive. I don’t think YOU are nuts or naive. Just your opinion on this issue. And that’s just my opinion.

        Second, lawsuits are not always there just to “compensate injured parties”. Also, criminal liability has ZERO to do with this conversation. Lawsuits can also serve the VITAL purpose of making sure something NEGLIGENT does NOT happen again. If this company is not punished for this incident, then the next time they stupidly allow an 11 year old girl to do rock climbing without making sure the harness is properly set up or making sure the necessary padding is at the bottom of the wall, that person may not be so lucky as to fall 20 feet and live to talk about it.

        Third I agree 100% that we have an overly litigious society. However, in THIS SPECIFIC CASE, the 11 year old girl fell 20 feet to a concrete floor because her harness was negligently set up and she didn’t have a soft landing because the floor was negligently NOT PADDED. It is naive to think they will fix these issues if they are not punished. A lawsuit where they lose money/their insurance goes up is the only way a company like this is punished. If they have a license, they should lose it for a period of time. The Marlins should immediately get rid of this company and bring in people who know what the hell they are doing.

      • term3186 - Jun 1, 2012 at 12:13 PM

        Detroit has an interesting argument, and while it appears sound on the surface, it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Lawsuits, like criminal charges, can/should/are (be) brought for a variety of reasons and rationales. Should speeders only get tickets when they cause a wreck? Should people be able to run stop signs and stop lights all they like as long as they don’t hit anyone? One of the rationales of a lawsuit is to punish the offending party so they don’t do it again. Not to mention the trauma the girl and her father suffered when she was injured. Since you don’t seem to think these things are a problem, I assume you’d have no problem with me bashing your kid over the head with a baseball bat as long as he was fine afterwards. And then have no problem with me doing it again next day. Lawsuits are absolutely intended to punish offending parties, hence the term “punitive damages”. It’s the reason that a variety if violates result in treble damages. The only law I can think of that just straight-up purely compensates injured parties is contract law, and even then, not always. The problem with tort cases is that a number of injuries are difficult to measure quantitatively. Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be compensated. Now you can argue that this SHOULDN’T be the case (you’d be wrong again and this really isn’t the appropriate forum to explain, and I don’t really have the time) but its silly to say that it ISN’T the case.

      • Detroit Michael - Jun 1, 2012 at 12:23 PM

        Thanks for the responses, guys.

        Actually, given the incident and the publicity, I predict that the Marlins and/or the company in charge of the wall-climbing will take some corrective action now regardless of whether there is a large settlement in this case.

        Obviously, I would object to being assaulted daily with a deadly weapon regardless of whether there were lasting bodily damages. Also, this would violate state criminal law, so the assailant should be punished. It’s not a very close analogy to the facts of this instance in my opinion.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 1, 2012 at 1:14 PM

        One other thing I wanted to add Detroit is that if this girl had died, the company would surely have been held criminally negligent big time. I still don’t think the Marlins have much culpability in this, other than they hired idiots to run the rock-climbing operation.

        I don’t agree with the notion that a previous poster compared this to related to assaulting you with a deadly weapon. However, a good comparison to this incident is the seriousness of a DUI. Sure, if you drive drunk, you MAY only hurt yourself. Or you may hurt someone else. Or you may hurt NOBODY. However, it is still negligent to drive drunk. Same here. Sure, the girl didn’t get hurt “too seriously”. But she clearly could have…she could have died had she landed the wrong way. If she had fallen directly on her head 20 feet onto a concrete floor she probably would be dead. How far did the dad who fell reaching for the baseball in Texas Stadium fall? And this was an adult and he died.

        Negligence needs to be punished so it doesn’t happen again. I’m almost willing to change my initial thoughts about this and conclude that there may even be some form of criminal negligence here…especially if there are laws and codes relating to rock climbing walls in Florida. If they legally were supposed to have a mat down and did not, they could be held criminally liable. Same with the harness…if they didn’t have a harness that conformed to code, they could be held criminally liable. I wouldn’t be surprised to see much more come of this. Just because the little girl didn’t die doesn’t mean this was not a serious and major violation.

    • ftlauderdaledad - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      she suffered a severe concussion, she has cracks in several vertebrates, several vertebrates are wedged (look it up), she is in a pelvis to collar bone brace for several months. she didnt “injure herself”, genius. the equipment broke.

      there is a saying you should familiarize yourself with. “it’s better to be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth & remove all doubt”….because you are clueless

  7. deathmonkey41 - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Can I sue the Marlins for the trauma of having to watch that horrific homerun statue every time it goes off?

  8. drewsylvania - Jun 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    The train wreck continues. If only they weren’t winning.

  9. hojo20 - Jun 1, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Whatever happened to buying a ticket just to watch the damn game?

  10. theaxmancometh - Jun 1, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Sad that this happened. Surprising to hear ppl complaining about the new ballpark you’d think the Marlins would make it a priority to give their fans a stellar experience after playing in the horrendous football stadium for so many years. Glad I have Miller Park which is a great venue & the Brewers do a tremendous job at giving their fans a fun ballpark experience.

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