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Woman sues MLB team after being struck by flying bat

A frequent theme in this Atlanta Premises Liability Law Blog is the fact that under Georgia law, if a person is injured on another person's property, the property owner or manager may be held responsible for poor maintenance or negligence that contributed to the accident. Depending on the situation, the victim or the victim's family can bring a premises liability claim against the property owner or manager to request compensation for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering among other things.

Premises liability claims often arise after slip-and-fall accidents, but the field is actually much wider than this. Currently, a case is working its way through the court system in Los Angeles where a woman was injured by a flying baseball bat at a Major League Baseball game in 2008.

The accident took place in Dodger Stadium after a maple bat broke during the game and flew into the stands, where it struck the woman. The woman suffered a broken jaw and underwent surgery.

She has filed a negligence and premises liability suit against the Dodgers and the maker of the baseball bat, but the suit has been put on hold because the Dodgers are currently in bankruptcy.

Previously, the Dodgers had asked that the suit be dismissed. The motion argued that baseball fans are aware of a risk of being hit by a baseball or bat when they attend games, and that there are protected seats in a certain portion of the stadium that is shielded by a screen.

Among other issues, a judge will have to decide whether the Dodgers did all they are expected to do to reasonably keep its fans safe from hazard within the stadium or whether this was a preventable accident which occurred because of dangerous stadium conditions.

Source: Press-Telegram, "Broken bat injury case against L.A. Dodgers put on hold," June 4, 2012

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