Generally, a person participating in or attending a spectator event, such as a baseball game, assumes any inherent risk of injury that may result from the event. This would bar a person injured during a game from suing for many sports-related injuries. However, there are instances when a person injured during a sporting event has been allowed to sue for money damages. These money damages are available to compensate a tort victim for any pain and suffering, medical expenses and other damages that the injury has caused.
Spencer Ludman was a member of the Davenport Assumption High School baseball team in Davenport, Iowa. On July 7, 2011, Ludman was standing in the dugout when he was struck by a foul ball. The impact shattered Ludman’s skull, which caused him to suffer brain swelling that required hospitalization. As a result of these injuries, Ludman had to relearn how to walk and talk. According to USA Today, he has also suffered multiple seizures, for which he is required to take medication.
In April 2013, Ludlow sued the high school, alleging that they were at fault for building a dugout that did not supply necessary protection to players. Ludlow is represented by attorney Steve Crowley, who argues that the dugout should have been protected by safety gates. He also argues that the dugout should have been placed farther back when it was constructed.
A jury has now awarded Ludman $1.5 million for the injuries caused by this sports-related accident. However, the jury has also found Ludlow 30 percent at-fault because he should have been more attentive during the game., especially since he was standing up in the dugout. Therefore, the final award that Ludlow will receive is $1.03 million.
The high school is represented by attorney Lori Cole Magerko. According to Cole Magerko, the verdict was unfair because the plaintiff was allowed to argue the case as a premises liability case, rather than a sports liability case. In the latter, a plaintiff is not able to collect damages for injuries caused by the inherent risks of the sport. However, this limitation is absent in a premises liability lawsuit. Therefore, the highs school plans to appeal both the verdict and the award.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a sports-related injury, please call 617-787-3700 now to speak with one of our expert Massachusetts personal injury lawyers or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.