Gimme Gimme

In an effort to generate some baseball discussion, my friend Tex posted this story about a woman who was at a minor league game and was hit in the face with a baseball (which ended up causing permanent blindness in her right eye).

It’s a terrible story.  No one should start their night happy to be at a baseball game and end it being rushed to the hospital and going blind.  And the story itself brings up some interesting questions.

The team’s insurer offered to pay the medical costs she had that her own insurance didn’t cover…but she wants more.  Under the guise of “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else” she refused the offer of payment and is now suing the team.  This woman admittedly was there to socialize with friends and not to watch the game (although she says she was watching the action when she was hit).  This is not to say she deserved to be hit, she certainly didn’t.  But she’s claiming an ignorance of the ball park that I always assumed was general, common knowledge.

She has read court rulings that someone of reasonable intelligence should know there is a risk of being hit with a foul ball at a baseball game.

“Does a person of reasonable intelligence know that they can be permanently disabled?” she said. “Does a person of reasonable intelligence know they can be killed?”

I have a difficult time believing a person of reasonable intelligence DOESN’T know how dangerous getting hit by a baseball (or bat or, hell, a player diving into the stands) can be.  I don’t think this case is about warning other people of the dangers of sitting in a ballpark…I think this case is about someone being greedy and wanting more than they are getting.

Maybe I’m just cynical?  Maybe I’m so used to going to the ballpark that it stuns me that someone would go, sit next to the dugout and not realize that balls getting hit into the stands could be dangerous?

I went to a game this past summer where a little boy stood right at the field for most of the game, giving me anxiety for the entire game that he was going to be hit with a foul ball or a tossed bat.  His parents were there and I couldn’t decide at the time if they were ignorant to the dangers or they just didn’t care.  I think in most cases, people don’t think it will happen.  Sure they know that the ball leaves the field sometimes but no one ever wants to think about the fact that they could possibly get hurt.

You can get hurt at a ballgame even just as a spectator.  Most adults know this going in.  Even if you don’t know it before hand, a glance at your ticket or a look around the park and you see notices warning you that you could get hurt.  If you make the decision to go somewhere that the possibility of injury exists, I don’t see how you should be allowed to sue when you do get hurt.

Am I biased because of my love for baseball and baseball parks?  I honestly wonder this.  I genuinely feel like too many people in this world, especially in this country, feel like the way to get ahead is by suing someone.  There are no accidents any more…only incidents that someone has to pay for.

I’m sorry for what happened to this woman but this story just reeks of someone who wants to mask their greed as concern for the general public.  She wants us to believe that she isn’t refusing their offer and suing them because she’s greedy, she’s doing it to raise awareness about the dangers of going to a baseball game.  I’m not buying it.  Raising awareness…that I’m all for.  Suing because you don’t like the amount of money that was offered is ridiculous to me.   Greed is not good.

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