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Rare Ruling Allows Baseball Fan to Seek Damages from Foul Ball

Posted on April 8th, 2013

A favorite pastime for many Wichita citizens is going to a Wingnuts game or cheering on Wichita State University softball and baseball teams. Although most baseball fans might not know of “The Baseball Rule,” they are fairly aware of the risks of foul balls at a game. In a recent, rare ruling the Idaho Supreme Court went against “The Baseball Rule,” which states that fans are putting themselves in danger and assuming liability when they attend a baseball game.

Bud Rountree was at a Boise Hawks game in 2008 when he lost an eye after getting hit by a foul ball. Rountree was talking to someone when he heard the crowd cheering and turned to see what was happening. He was smacked in the face by a foul ball. His injury resulted in the loss of an eye.

The Court’s ruling will allow Rountree to seek damages from the Hawks. Now, five years later, the lawsuit is going to a jury. Instead of the case being determined by “The Baseball Rule,” twelve people will decide damages for Rountree and whether or not the team was negligent.

Rountree and his personal injury attorney must convince a jury that it wasn’t his fault that he turned his back on the action.

If the jury rules against “The Baseball Rule,” it is likely we will see dramatic changes in baseball. Some might say that fans could start suing for minor injuries, trying to make a quick buck. However, if the past is any predictor of the future, such claims would only be brought if the injuries are serious and significant such as a lost eye.

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