Thursday, September 21, 2023
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Thursday, September 21, 2023 | Back issues
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Baseball Park Isn’t Liable For Ball-Chasing Injuries

ALBANY, N.Y. (CN) - A baseball park operator has no duty to warn or protect spectators who get hurt while chasing foul balls outside the park, a New York appeals court ruled.

The parents of a 14-year-old boy sued the Auburn Community Non-Profit Baseball Association after their son was hit by a drunk driver while chasing a foul ball into traffic. He was wearing headphones and failed to look both ways before crossing the street, according to the record.

The teen was hanging out with his friends in a parking lot outside of Falcon Park in Auburn, N.Y., a spot he frequented to retrieve foul balls. His parents argued that the stadium gave fans incentive to go after balls on a dangerous street by rewarding them with tickets for returning errant balls.

But the promotion was not to blame, the court ruled, citing the "inherent risks associated with crossing the street" and the impracticality of warning about balls that could fall "on virtually any square foot of property surrounding a stadium." See ruling.

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