Saturday, November 4, 2017

Court upholds the so-called "baseball rule" in case against New York Yankees; rules no liability for injury caused by foul ball

Not too long ago, I posted a story about a recently filed claim against the Chicago Cubs by a fan injured by a foul ball.  The claim will not be an easy one to support given the current law in Illinois but also the long standing trend in the rest of the United States.  This trend, which typically holds the defendants only have a limited duty to a relatively small number of spectators, was reaffirmed recently in New York in a case that had been filed against the New York Yankees.  In that case, a state appeals court in Manhattan ruled that the baseball team was not responsible for a fan's foul ball-related injuries at a 2011 game.  Bob Van Voris, a legal reporter for Bloomberg News, discusses the story here (8 minute audio). 

It sounds like the plaintiff will appeal the decision.  If he does, it is possible the state's highest court may reconsider the validity of the baseball rule.  Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Ron Miller said...

You tagged this as assumption of the risk and I think that is the most appropriate way to explain away these claims. Ultimately, everyone who goes to a baseball game understands the risk and there are many seats people could choose that are largely out of harm's way.

I'm very sympathetic to these claims because I think there should be a strict liability type rule in these types of cases. Clearly, the team is in a better position to absorb the loss and they could easily make the ballparks safer. But there is not a lot of support for such a rule.