Saturday, November 21, 2015

Danger at the Ballpark, and in a Baseball Ticket’s Fine Print - The New York Times

Baseballs leave the bat of today's hitters at 100 mph.  There is no time to get out of the way on the third and first base lines.  And in today's carnivals of Diamond Vision mega screens, replays, and music fans are often distracted.

And courts today, having recovered from the faintly remembered pro-consumer era of the 1960's, are now dominated by thinking of what Paul Krugman calls the Very Serious People - who appreciate the owners concerns to reduce costs and win profits.  The result: virtual immunity from ballpark injuries. - gwc

Danger at the Ballpark, and in a Baseball Ticket’s Fine Print - The New York Times

by Joe Nocera

Near the end of 2012, feeling he had been left with no choice, Zlotnick filed a personal-injury lawsuit against the Yankees and Major League Baseball. It was not about the $25,000, which Zlotnick had the means to cover. His main goal, he told me, was to force the Yankees to change their umbrella policy — and for M.L.B. to start taking fan injuries seriously.
Thanks largely to that fine print I mentioned earlier, it is nearly impossible for an injured fan to win a lawsuit against the Yankees or the Mets.
“The bearer of the ticket assumes all risk and danger incidental to the sport of baseball,” the Yankees declare on the back on their tickets. The legal boilerplate then goes on to disclaim all liability if a fan is injured at Yankee Stadium. Zlotnick’s lawyer, Edward Steinberg, told me that New York courts had been “tough” in enforcing what’s known as the “assumption of risk” doctrine. (Some people call it the “baseball rule.”) Indeed, Steinberg, who is a personal-injury lawyer, said that he routinely turns away badly injured fans who want to sue, because the suits have so little chance of succeeding.
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