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Family of little girl with fractured skull sues the Braves

Jul 18, 2012, 6:53 PM EDT

Image (1) Braves%20logo.gif for post 4936

The family of an 8-year-old whose skull was fractured by a foul ball during a game at Turner Field on Aug. 30, 2010 is suing the Braves and MLB for negligence.

The suit doesn’t disclose the names of those filing. They’d like both their privacy and their money. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which has decided to play along and not reveal any names, the suit seeks unspecified damages for the girl’s pain and suffering, punitive damages and compensation for the family’s medical expenses, which are expected to exceed $100,000.

The girl was 6 years old when she was injured. No additional details on her condition were provided.

These kinds of lawsuits against MLB teams and the league have rarely succeeded. The league has warnings printed on every ticket sold stating that fans attending games do so at their own risk.

  1. cleverbob - Jul 18, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Stinks for the little girl, but sympathy shouldn’t overrule all the CYA legalese built into the fine print of every ticket purchase. This has even less merit than the woman who is suing the little leaguer.

    • BrownsTown - Jul 18, 2012 at 10:57 PM

      I cant recall the specifics, but I recall from my business law classes that those clauses are often worthless and can be superceded by other claims. I know, real specific on my end, but FWIW.

      • surefooted1 - Jul 18, 2012 at 11:54 PM

        They can be superseded by actual negligence. A foul ball does not constitute negligence.

    • bjbeliever - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:56 AM

      Sue the Braves? they should call child services…who;s the parent that takes a 6 year old to a ball game, seats them behind the bases, doesn’t watch the play enough to shield them and then blames everyone but themselves?? Its an adult choice to go to an event the presents any form of danger and the only one liable in this situation is the parents…i mean c’mon a foul ball at a baseball game is not a reasonable expectation?

  2. js20011041 - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    That’s terrible for their daughter, but honestly, I’d like to know what Mom and Dad were doing when this happened. You have to realize that an 8 year old isn’t going to pay attention to the game the whole time. You have to be prepared to get in front of them and block a foul ball. I don’t know the exact circumstances, but if the girl got hit because Mommy and Daddy weren’t paying attention then they’ll be lucky if the Braves don’t counter sue them for legal fees defamation.

    • pinkfloydprism - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:08 PM

      My best guess would be Dad went to catch the ball. I saw a similar event happen in Tempe during spring training. A fly ball came into the stands were a Dad was with his daughter, and as the ball approached, the Dad went to catch it…and missed. Sadly, the ball did not miss his Daughter. $15 baseball everyone…$15…

      • hockeyflow33 - Jul 19, 2012 at 7:55 AM

        $15? more like $2

      • pinkfloydprism - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:28 AM

        Retail price, not cost to make.

    • davidpom50 - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM

      In certain seats, you don’t have time to react to protect someone next to you.

      When I have kids, they won’t sit in those seats till they’re quite a bit older. Nosebleeds are always safe.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:55 PM

        As they say in legalese, this is the credited response.

  3. sgtr0c - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Are you suggesting we, the public, should stay home and watch the games on our tv’s in safety of our homes?

    • micker716 - Jul 18, 2012 at 10:48 PM

      I suggest you should.

  4. captainwisdom8888 - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    It’s a shame a little girl’s life will be changed forever by a simple trip to enjoy a ballgame with her family. Unfortunately for her and her family, there’s no shot they will be getting paid out for this. It’s printed on thbe ticket stub, as well as signs at every park stating to beware of foul balls. It’s not like every stadium is going to have each fan sign a waiver upon entry. Perhaps her dad should have made an effort to protect her….

  5. deathmonkey41 - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    The family is hoping that MLB & the Braves don’t want to look like big, bad unfeeling corporations that don’t care that they hurt a little girl and settle out of court. Another family looking to cash in on an unfortunate incident. Welcome to America- land of too many lawyers and not enough real cases.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:40 PM

      Pretty sure the NHL tried the same thing and lost in court to the family whose kid was struck by a puck. Merely stating that people at a risk for an errant ball doesn’t absolve you of all responsibility if your (in)actions are still negligent*.

      *for instance, if a team were to remove the netting/backstop, they’d still would be held liable for an injury.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:41 PM

        Oh and sitting in an area where you are in danger of an errant foul ball sucks. Sitting behind the dugout at Fenway on the third base side with the future Mrs. Church was a nightmare b/c you almost have no downtime to enjoy the game. Every time a lefty was up I had to watch for that 90mph screaming foul ball that could come right at us.

      • woodyqq2 - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:50 PM

        I finally found your problem. Your sitting in the wrong ballpark. Who in their right mind would go to Fenway.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:23 PM

        Wife is a Sox fan =\

      • Kevin S. - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:41 PM

        Well, I’ve finally found your problem. Mixed marriages just don’t work. :/

        Had a similar experience at Wrigley once. My uncle had hooked us up with tickets about six or seven rows behind the first-base dugout. One of the guys we were with was from Guam and had never been to a baseball game before. Two of the first three pitches became foul balls that buzzed us. Not sure if he’s been back to a game since.

      • woodyqq2 - Jul 18, 2012 at 10:12 PM

        Now i’m confused, “future Mrs. Church” verses “Wife is a Sox fan =\”. Which one you take to Fenway and which one to Yankee Stadium?

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:04 AM

        churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged – Jul 18, 2012 at 9:23 PM

        Wife is a Sox fan =\

        And you still married her????

  6. bradtoughy - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    As tragic as the young girl’s injury is, a lawsuit is simply unfounded. If you’re going to take your young child to a game, you must make sure the child knows to pay attention. As the father of a 3 and 5 year old, I know that the attention span of a young child is fleeting at best and since that’s the case, you as the parent have to pay extra attention.

    This is a father that didn’t do his job properly and now wants the Braves to fix his mistake.

  7. randygnyc - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    On every ticket? Heck, it’s on EVERY seat in Yankee stadium.

    • ThisIsBaseball - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:07 PM

      Even in the 400 level seats.

  8. qcubed3 - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Legally, the family will not be able to recover (they could of course settle). It’s called assumption of risk, and everyone that enters into the ballpark knows that balls may end up in the stands and that you may be hit by a ball that could injure you. The fact that the little girl did not understand the risk is not relevant as her parents are ultimately responsible for assessing that risk for her. Additionally, those risks are outlined on the back of the ticket and the games always have announcements to watch out for foul balls, etc.

  9. largebill - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Step One: Beat the crap out of the stink’n lawyer.
    Step Two: Repeat step one.
    Step Three: Slap the parents and tell them decent people don’t treat tragedies as lottery tickets.
    Step Four: Repeat step one.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:58 PM

      Behind any unscrupulous lawyer is a far more unscrupulous client. Really, the lawyer is an instrument here, fulfilling the wishes of his/her client. Why is it that the lawyer gets blamed? Lawyers don’t sue people; clients sue each other.

  10. mybrunoblog - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Pretty simple. If you have small kids with you at a game you do one of two things. Either sit far enough away from the field so that you can react or sit behind the screen. Anything else is dangerous.

  11. Matthew Pouliot - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    I declined to mention it in the article, but it’s a nice touch that the lawyer filing the suit is named “Moran.”

  12. jon623 - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    I know this is sad that this happened to anyone, let alone a little girl… but really? A lawsuit? Parents, this isn’t anybody’s fault… it’s part of the game. Crazy things happen. Unless there was some blatant disregard by the medical/security staff at the park, there is nothing to sue about. You guys took your little girl to a came fully aware of the potential risks, and something bad happened. Unforunate? Absolutely. Worthy of a law suit? Absolutely NOT.

    • jon623 - Jul 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM

      game** man, I need to proofread.

  13. brewcrewfan54 - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    I have a feeling this is more about trying to get the astronomical medical bills paid for than a cash grab.

    • teaspoon1731 - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      I was thinking the same thing. While there are people that would do this for the money alone, those kinds of medical bills could destroy most families. It’s probably not the best way of going about things, but facing that, most reasonable people would consider a lawsuit to at least help alleviate those costs. Especially since she’s so young and there may be lifelong problems associated with such an injury.

      I’m not necessarily forgiving the situation, merely looking at it from a different angle.

  14. missmollysmom - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    What I think is particularly telling is the fact the family wants to stay anonymous. I think they know quite well this will make them laughingstocks, but that’s OK if they could manage to squeeze a settlement out of the Braves or MLB before their names get out.

  15. artthoumad - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    The only people that are going to get paid are the lawyers. Did the family really think they could win?

  16. sportfan23 - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Good luck. Inherent risk of seeing a game.

  17. philly56 - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Those warnings aren’t ironclad I don’t think. I remember about ten years ago when I lived in central Ohio a young girl was in the stands at a blue jackets game when she was hit in the head by a hockey puck. Fractured her skull like this girl, but then it also led to blood clotting iirc and she died a couple days later in the hospital. And yeah, there was a debate about the warning on her ticket but I think it was argued that because that was printed on something that was given to her after the transaction was already completed it was irrelevant and didn’t protect the blue jackets – because no new conditions can be thrown into something like that after a purchase has already been made. Like, if she had been made aware of the deadly risks she was facing merely by watching a shitty hockey team in the most boring city in America *beforehand* and decided to pay anyway it would have been different. I’m no lawyer, but the family sued and won over a million dollars and the NHL added more netting around their arenas so it’s not as if their case was thrown out because of some stupid warning printed on the girls ticket.

  18. vallewho - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    the Braves/MLB should counter-sue. The adults who took the child to the game and as not supervising/protecting the child during the gameplay are at fault here. they should also pay all court/lawyer fees.

  19. imthedudedude - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Wow stupid parents. Feel bad for the little girl.

    • db105 - Jul 19, 2012 at 6:32 AM

      Unfortunately many people should not have kids. Often times these kids become similar to their parents.

  20. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    My sympathies to the family, but aside from the fine print on the ticket there are enough explicit warnings about balls and bats going into the stands.

    Baseball may be slow-paced but you have to pay attention when there’s something happening.

  21. brianbosworthisstonecold - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    At least Atlanta might have a good chance in winning. They don’t know what it means but this might get something started.

    • skids003 - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:03 AM

      Where have you been since 1991, man? 14 division champs and a World Series. Come out of your stupor dude.

  22. rcali - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Way to protect your child bad parents. Of course it’s somebody elses fault.

  23. dcbear90 - Jul 18, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Only a matter of time before nets are put up. Just like in hockey.

  24. djpostl - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    I feel bad for the child..because she clearly has some money grabbing pieces of shit that A. use their child’s suffering shamelessly for a quick cash score and B. didn’t have the sense to keep an eye out for foul balls when they had a 6 year old with them.

    Pathetic.

  25. cshearing - Jul 19, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    To all of the people disparaging the parents, I would point you to a horrendous health care system that may well be bankrupting these parents because their kid was involved in an accident. Without that economic pressure, who knows what might have been? Plus these people are obviously grief stricken, susceptible to some prodding by a lawyer. I just have a hard time admonishing folks who just lost a child.

    • skids003 - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:05 AM

      They may have med insurance or Medicaid at worst. It’s still a BS lawsuit. They are blaming someone else for their poor parenting.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      Or, they could be just fine and looking to make coinage. I like to think the worst about people and hope they pleasantly surprise me.

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