Special Stage Forums banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
BOSTON -- A state appeals court in Boston said a Massachusetts woman who was hit in the head by a foul ball at Fenway Park cannot sue.

Jane Costa was severely injured in 1998 when she was struck by a ball while sitting in the stands at a Red Sox game. She had to undergo extensive reconstructive surgery. But in its ruling Wednesday, the court said the Red Sox had no duty to warn her of the possibility she'd get hit.

The court says the danger is obvious. It said a central feature of baseball is that batters "forcefully hit balls that may go astray from their intended direction."

The Red Sox said about three to four dozen fans get hit by foul balls every season.


So, if they can do that. Why can't the sport of rallying? Spectator in woods (ballpark) gets hit by rock or car parts (baseball) ...

Edit to add: According to Red Sox officials, three to four dozen patrons each season are injured by foul balls.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought Bostonians were pretty kewl after spending 5 weeks with them for training at HP, guess not.

Just, kidding. Hopefully I will be back up there soon for more training and irish pubs. And I can drink with the Bostonian Rallyists.

I just found this article enlightening if you will. To think that someone was rejected monies for suing because of the obvious risks.

May the strong and smart survive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
946 Posts
>So, if they can do that. Why can't the sport of rallying?
>Spectator in woods (ballpark) gets hit by rock or car parts
>(baseball) ...

You are comparing an apple and an orange.

A foul ball is a very dangerous thing, and Fenway Park does have the crowd almost on home plate.

If we want to compare and apple to an apple, the Fenway park situation compared to typical rally spectator control (at least prior to May 2003, although most events seem to be letting their guard down again) would be if a fan was allowed to stand in the Right batters box while Barry Bonds was hitting in the left batters box. I imagine a foul ball hit by Barry into the right batters box that squarely hit the fan in the right box would result in a winnable lawsuit and perhaps a death.

Spectators have to be safe. If you don't like it, get the dish and subscribe to Speed Channel. I don't care what spectators in the rest of the world are allowed to do. The event organisers have to make sure spectators are safe, or rallying will not last much longer in the states.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn't mean it to sound as a cry to harken back to the spectator free reign. Only to point out that it is about time this happens and made public. Because it could lead to a spectator's wife suing for having a rock pelting her in the head.

I do agree that spectator control has laxed to far from the stages I spectated at STPR. Personally, I prefer to not spectate and would rather crew or compete.

Even at the Acropolis Rally I noticed the spectators up close and in dangerous spots.
 

·
Four tree two remember Andrew
Joined
·
1,633 Posts
"A state appeals court in Boston said"

Which means (1) she retained a lawyer; (2) she did sue; (3) there was some type of hearing at the trial court level; (4) she appealed the matter.

Which means (1) a claim was submitted on an insurance policy; (2) lawyers were retained and paid by the insurance company to defend the ballpark and team; and (3) the insurance company paid the lawyers a bunch of money to defend the case all the way through the Court of Appeals.

Which means not that she could not sue (cause she did), but that she did not have a valid claim based on Mass law.

Did the park warn her of foul balls? Did they provide protection from foul balls (e.g. nets, backstop)? Was she somewhere she wasn't supposed to be? Were there barriers to prevent her from where she wasn't supposed to be that she ignored? Warning signs? Were there staff members that she snuck around? Was she drunk? What precautions did the park take to protect her from herself?

Wilson
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So, she could take it to a higher court if the ball park did not warn her or protect her by
"Did the park warn her of foul balls? Did they provide protection from foul balls (e.g. nets, backstop)? Was she somewhere she wasn't supposed to be? Were there barriers to prevent her from where she wasn't supposed to be that she ignored? Warning signs? Were there staff members that she snuck around? Was she drunk? What precautions did the park take to protect her from herself?"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Neither.
With the recent complaining of Sucking Spectator areas figured this may pertain.
 

·
Four tree two remember Andrew
Joined
·
1,633 Posts
>So, she could take it to a higher court if the ball park did
>not warn her or protect her by
>"Did the park warn her of foul balls? Did they provide
>protection from foul balls (e.g. nets, backstop)? Was she
>somewhere she wasn't supposed to be? Were there barriers to
>prevent her from where she wasn't supposed to be that she
>ignored? Warning signs? Were there staff members that she
>snuck around? Was she drunk? What precautions did the park
>take to protect her from herself?"

I'm not saying that. She took it to a higher court because she lost at the lower court. For the most part, the spectator assumes the risk at any sport event he or she goes to, e.g., puck in the face, ball in the face, loose wheel from an open wheel racer, etc. This is a very general rule.

But, that doesn't mean that the venue shouldn't take reasonble precautions to protect them (and in fact, usually has the duty to) which is why there is plexiglass at hockey games, a backstop and nets around home plate, and jersey barriers with a big honking chain link fence on top of it at track events.

And in the case of indifference or reckless disregard on the part of the venue, all bets are off.

The points I was trying to make were (1) people can sue on a meritless claim, and it still costs the insurance company, and ultimately the insurance purchaser/consumer money; and (2) the way to minimize the claims is to take reasonable precautions to prevent them.

Wilson
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,013 Posts
This is an age-old debate, and there is no bright line, which is why these cases are interesting. It comes down to reasonable expectations.

It used to be that any injury sustained in a hockey game was at the injured's risk. Volenti non fit injuria. But now if the injury is the result of a move intended to injure, the perpetrator may be liable. The key is that malicious injuring is not a reasonable thing to expect in a sports match.

Boxing? All bets are off. Different standard. It's about injuring.

Baseball spectating? Yep, some people get clocked in the head every year. You can sue, but you shouldn't win. Who thinks that balls don't land in the stands?

Race spectating? No-one expects to be hit. Who expects it? You can sue and possibly win, although I don't put it at a bright line.

Note this, though: highly-controlled spectator areas imply a higher level of liability on the part of the organizers, as they're effectively saying that it's safe to stand there, *creating the expectation of safety*. You taking notes?

ACP, esq.
Flirting with the laws of physics.

PS not legal advice, not admitted in your jurisdiction, advice worth what you pay for it, etc.
 

·
Nerd with a clock & clipboard
Joined
·
252 Posts
Next time you go to a ball game, look at the back of your ticket. Yes, that gray ink is the proverbial Fine Print.
That's why you should always bring your microscope with you to the game.
Granted, it amounts to what I believe the suits call "Implied Consent" and it would not stop many in the legal trade from filing.
 

·
Lake Superior Region
Joined
·
106 Posts
I have a dog. I keep him in my fenced back yard. Two scenarios are possible here. 1 - My dog leaps the fence out of control and smucks the mailman (spectator). The mailman takes me to court for harboring a dangerous animal and not making him aware of that fact. ie, no "Beware of Dog sign in the window. 2 - My dog leaps the fence and smucks the mailman (spectator). The mailman takes me to court for knowingly (ie the sign) harboring a dangerous animal and not taking the proper precautions. Either way I'm in deep yogurt. The point of all this verbage? One irate _______ (fill in the blank) with one very tenacious lawyer can and will make your life miserable.
 

·
If money were no object
Joined
·
272 Posts
Personally I would love to see this trend continue in our courts..

People need to take responsibility for there own lives and stop the frivilous blame that has defined our nation...


Steven Perret
Car# 226
Driftin4 Racing
[email protected]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
946 Posts
>
> although most events seem to be
>>letting their guard down again)
>
>
>
>What do you mean by this comment Trevor???
>
>
>Greg

I mean that I've absolutely seen spectators in random places like I always used to, and some even in dangerous places.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
946 Posts
>I'm extraordinarily hopeful that what you've seen have all
>been properly credentialled press people and you're just
>mistaken.
>
>J.B. Niday
>www.nidayrallysport.com


I applaud the SCCA Boards efforts in the area of Spectator Safety.

Its much much more than I knew. Now if we could get the spectators to take their own safety more seriously...

May we never ever have another raffle.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top