A lawsuit filed against the MLB’s Atlanta Braves concerning a 6-year-old girl who was hit by a foul ball has reached a settlement and is pending a judge’s approval. The girl’s head was hit during a game resulting in her skull shattering in 30 places. She experienced a traumatic brain injury as she was sitting behind the visiting team’s dugout in 2010. Fred Fletcher, the girl’s father, filed the lawsuit against the Atlanta Braves and later added Major League Baseball to the suit. The Fletcher attorneys requested that the MLB release any documents form their investigations of steroid use. They claimed to request the information to “show jurors that juiced-up ballplayers hit balls harder, giving fans even less time to get out of the way of foul balls.”
The Atlanta Braves originally hoped to have the entire case dismissed “by trying to persuade courts to recognize the so-called ‘Baseball Rule’ as the law in Georgia.” According to the Baseball Rule, “if a stadium operator provides adequate screening behind home plate, and enough seats for spectators who want to sit there, it cannot be held liable for balls and bats that enter the stands and hurt people.” However, Judge Porter along with the Georgia Court of Appeals did not see the rule fitting and allowed the case to continue.
If the settlement is approved, the Braves and MLB will not be held negligent and the girl’s injury will be recorded as unforeseeable. Fletcher’s lawyer along with the Atlanta Braves spokeswoman did not comment on the case.
The Braves have announced that they will be extending their netting behind home plate to the far end of each dugout so that they can provide further protection from potential injury to the majority of the seats.
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