“Stadiums Would Be Lined With Nets If Foul Ball Suit Succeeds”

A California resident has “cited the estimated 1,750 fans a year who are struck by balls, mostly fouls, in a [new federal] lawsuit [against the commissioner of Major League Baseball] seeking to force major league stadiums throughout the U.S. to erect safety nets from ‘foul pole to foul pole.'” [Bloomberg]


  • It would be best for such questions to be decided by Congress or a lawfully-delegated agency. Failing that, a generic lawsuit like this is better than a lottery of individual lawsuits.

    Experiment. Let stadiums put nets on one side and sell those seats as “safer” (not “safe”) seats. See which option sells best.

    MLB might be prudent, in this steadily more litigious age, to set up a workmen’s comp style system of paying out for bona-fide injury costs.

  • @Hugo: [Sigh] Actually, it’s depressing to know any of my fellow citizens even ask such ridiculous questions. #NationOfOpportunisticallyLitigiousWimps

  • just a back door effort to chip away at the “assumption of risk” doctrine – as if the litigation lottery provides a more efficient way of compensating the rare injury than some more egalitarian method subject to public debate and opportunity for an airing of both risk and reward. As is, the once American pastime of Baseball is becoming increasingly gentrified, out of the financial reach of all but the wealthy. Assuming this catches on, Little League fields will be the next target – with municipalities closing them down to avoid ruinous liability, and perhaps then bulldozing them over to prevent their use entirely.

    The quest for a perfectly safe world is certainly providing an efficient means of wealth transfer from society at large to some in the legal field, but I’m not of the belief that society, on whole, is better for it.

    • Right there with you CarLitGuy. The legal profession has become one in the same with societal leaches. We lose liberty drip by drip as attorneys suck dry what they can. It’s quite depressing.

  • So after 139 years, it finally dawns on a few people that a baseball or a bat or a harebrained idea might strike a fan attending a game?

    Seems to me this is not a meaningful complaint.

    I say, if you choose, buy a ticket. Go to a game. Pay close attention. If a ball or bat or stray idea comes your way – duck.

    Or choose not to buy a ticket if you are afraid.

    Either way, I don’t care.

  • The only way to string a net “foul pole to foul pole” would be right across the outfield.

  • The net directly behind home plate is a very good idea. I don’t think it’s needed for all foul territory, though. If you are worried, either sit in a section behind the net, or in the outfield, or in the upper deck, or in row 40 instead of row 4. Any of those choices will protect you or at least give you more time to react.

  • CLG raises a legitimate worry that if MLB is successfully targeted, then Little League (or indeed any spontaneous play when a deep pocket can be found) will be next.

    For that also, I like the Workmen’s Comp model: let Congress declare that both childhood obesity and a culture of timidity are threats to our country’s future, and prempt all Federal and local lawsuits involving injuries in school athletics and recess, public parks, etc., replacing them with Federally financed treatment for actual injuries. Where Federal adjusters find actual culpable negligence, they could turn around and sue those culpable.

    Some might decry an expensive new Federal program, but society would get the money back and more from reduced insurance and legal costs.