As the temperature rises, and other major sports wrap up for the year, many of us will begin to pay more attention to baseball and softball. Whether it is an afternoon on the couch watching your favorite team, or spending the weekend with your children at a tournament, you will be hard pressed to escape the lore of our national pastime in the coming months. While a day at the ballpark always presents a great way to relax for the afternoon, those of us who enjoy going to games know it comes with the risks associated with foul balls. Typically, personal injuries from stray baseballs are rare, but even the most athletic of us may have trouble getting out of the way, or even reacting to the hardest hit of foul balls.
This problem hit close to home several years ago in a 2011 game between Muscatine High school and Davenport Assumption. One of the visiting Muscatine players, Spencer Ludman, was hit by a foul ball while standing in the entrance to the visitors’ dugout. Sadly, Ludman suffered personal injury when the ball struck him in the head. In the years since this tragic incident Ludman has experienced several medical complications including seizures, depression, and speech difficulty. To help offset some of the associated costs, Lundman filed suit against Assumption claiming that the school was negligent by failing to provide an adequately safe dugout. A jury would find that the school was partially negligent for the injuries, and awarded Lundman around one million in damages to help offset medical expenses.
If you pay close attention to the local news, you may have noticed that this case grabbed headlines again last week when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled the case should be given a new trial. The Court granted a retrial based on Assumption being unable to present evidence that the dugout was built to typical high school baseball standards, and that Assumption was also denied the opportunity to present evidence that Lundman was at fault for failing to avoid the foul ball in time. The retrial of this case should present an interesting debate as to who is at fault in these instances. This case highlights an important underlying point: if you suffered a personal injury at a sporting event, whether as a player, or fan, it is always good to seek legal help to find your rights. Medical bills associated with injuries, like those in this recent case, can add up to staggering amounts, and there may be insurance to compensate you for your personal injury.
If you find yourself injured and with medical bills, please contact us at McCarthy, Callas, & Feeney so we can discuss your legal options moving forward. Please call 309-788-2800 to speak with a personal injury lawyer. The firm practices extensively in Rock Island, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa.