Fan Killed by Foul Ball to the Head at a Baseball Game
ESPN’s Outside the Lines has just now reported that the 79-year old victim who was struck in the head by a foul ball while watching a Los Angeles Dodgers game at Dodgers Stadium in August had died from her injuries only a few days later.
Linda Goldbloom, a grandmother from California, was watching a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres on August 25th. Goldbloom was sitting behind home plate in a section just slightly over the area protected by netting when a foul ball sailed into her area and struck her in the head.
Her daughter, Jana Brody, said that while Goldbloom was rushed to the hospital by EMTs she, “she threw up in the ambulance” and had emergency brain surgery at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.
Goldbloom was unresponsive for three days on a ventilator until “doctors deemed it impossible to restore her quality of life,” when her family made the decision to take her off life-support. She died on August 29th from “acute intracranial hemorrhage due to history of blunt force trauma” according to the coroner’s report.
According to Major League Baseball, Goldbloom is the third fan ever to die from being struck by a baseball in the stands.
History of Injuries While Watching Live Sports
Injuries while watching sporting events, although mostly unreported, actually happen much more often than you think.
Although fan injuries occur in every major sporting event, baseball is easily the most dangerous to watch as a spectator.
According to a report by Bloomberg, an average of 1,750 are injured by foul balls in major league stadiums every year. This number, however, does not include injuries from watching games in minor league, collegiate, or high school stadiums.
Here’s a brief history of some of the more noteworthy cases of fans being injured while watching live sports:
- In 2017, a 1-year old girl was struck by a 100 MPH foul ball at Yankees Stadium that prompted Major League Baseball to enforce protective netting at all 30 MLB stadiums.
- In March of 2014, an 8-year old boy was struck by a line drive while watching an Atlanta Braves game and ended up in the hospital.
- In 2010, another young fan, a 6-year-old girl, suffered from a shattered skull when she was struck by a foul ball at an Atlanta Braves game.
- A 7-year old boy was taken to the hospital for brain swelling after being hit by a foul ball while watching a Chicago Cubs game in 2008.
- While watching a Columbus Blue Jackets professional hockey game, 13-year old Brittanie Cecil died when she was struck in the head by a sailing puck, prompting the National Hockey League to implement mandatory netting above the glass behind and to the sides of both ends of the rink.
What is The Baseball Rule and How Does It Effect Fans Who Are Injured During a Game?
The baseball rule is a legal doctrine that courts have used over the last 100 years that limits the personal injury liability of the team, the owner, and the player for any injuries that occur during an act of the game itself as long as there have been minimum precautions taken by the team to protect the fan.
These minimum precautions incude:
- Installing protective netting in the “most dangerous area,” which courts have interpreted as the area directly behind home plate.
- Providing an adequate number of protected seats to keep up with fan demand for these seats.
What this does, in effect, make winning a lawsuit or an injury claim against the team virtually impossible, although, with more heightened news coverage surrounding injuries to fans, there is a push from the general public, sports analysts and personal injury lawyers who believe that the baseball rule should be abolished.
Who Pays For The Medical Bills If You’re Hit By A Foul Ball?
At the moment, fans who are injured during a game are left at the mercy and charity of the team ownership.
Although in most cases, due to the baseball rule, teams are generally not liable for these types of injuries, teams generally will have an arrangement with the injured fan to avoid bad public relations, however, this is NOT guaranteed.
Do I Still Have An Injury Claim If I’m Hurt While Watching A Game?
Depending on the circumstances, yes, a team or stadium owner may still be held liable for your injuries.
Here are a few circumstances where a team can be held liable for your injuries:
- Slip and Fall – Instances where poorly maintained conditions such as a broken handrail on a staircase or debris that has not been cleared from the floor that lead to injury.
- Falling Object – Falling fixtures such as signs, AC parts, pipes, etc.
- Food Poisoning – Claims regarding contracting food-borne illness from tainted food sold by stadium vendors.
- Unprovoked Altercation With Stadium Employee or Team Player – Although the lawsuit that was brought on as a result of the 2004 “Malice in Palace” brawl between Pacers players and fans was dismissed, teams can potentially be held liable for any unprovoked altercations by a stadium employee or player that lead to injuries.
Call The McAllen Injury Lawyers At Moore Law Firm Today!
If you were injured while watching a live sporting event, call the McAllen injury lawyers at Moore Law Firm for your FAST and FREE consultation at 1-800-444-2780 now!