A woman celebrating her 69th birthday at the Colorado Rockies’ home opener Monday sustained a concussion when she was struck in the head by a foul ball off the bat of Michael Cuddyer in the fourth inning. The unfortunate fan was treated at Denver Health and released.
The game was briefly delayed in the top of the fifth inning while medical personnel attended to the victim, who was eventually carted off through the left-field tunnel. A registered nurse was sitting a few rows behind the stricken fan when the incident occurred and assisted until paramedics arrived.
So is there a claim against the Rockies? Colorado courts embrace the premise that spectators assume the risk of attending a game/event, and that it should be obvious to the spectator that a baseball, puck, tire, or golf ball can hit them. Courts have long held that there is no liability for a spectator struck by a batted ball, whether during the course of the game or in pre-game practice.
Not satisfied with the protection provided by the legal doctrine, some leagues and state legislators have taken the immunity even further. Most, if not all leagues and teams, now place a disclaimer providing an assumption of the risk statement on the back of each spectator ticket.
So when you hear the crack of the bat, keep an eye and be ready to catch, or duck, the batted ball.