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Jury Clears Red Sox, Henry in Foul Ball Injury Trial

Boston Red SoxA lawsuit seeking $9.5 million from the Boston Red Sox and owner John Henry ended with a jury rejecting the case brought by a Fenway Park game attendee who claimed injuries from a foul ball.

The plaintiff, Stephanie Taubin, was attending a Red Sox game at a Fenway Park luxury suite when she was struck by the foul ball off the bat of David Ortiz. Part of her claim centered on the fact that a glass window normally shielding the attendees had been removed, leaving the box open. From the Boston Globe:

“Obviously, we’re disappointed at the result,” said her lawyer, Marc Diller. “It needs to be known that Ms. Taubin was paying attention, and the speed of the ball was so fast that she couldn’t avoid it.”

Taubin, 49, of Brookline, underwent three surgeries to repair broken bones in her face and suffered permanent nerve damage beneath her left eye, Diller said….

“Since she brought this lawsuit, the case has helped spark a national dialogue about safety at ballparks. She just hopes the Red Sox continue to evaluate safety at Fenway Park.”

The jury rejected that argument, deciding in favor of Henry and the Red Sox.

It’s been established law that fans attend games at their own risk; the risk is pointed out on game tickets and on signs throughout ballparks. There is definitely a fear within the industry that one of these cases will end up finding teams liable or partly liable for injuries caused by a foul ball, and Major League Baseball addressed this with extended netting throughout all MLB ballparks and most spring-training facilities. n previous seasons, there had been calls for teams around Major League Baseball–including the Yankees–to extend the protective netting at their ballparks. Those calls were amplified after a young girl was severely struck by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium last September, and the Yankees ultimately became one of many teams around professional baseball to announce extended netting plans for 2018. More of our coverage on extended netting can be found here.

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