Grasshoppers Destroy Man’s Eye and Disclaim Liability

Carroll Master went to watch the Greensboro Grasshoopers play in Greensboro, North Carolina with his wife and his two-year-old son. It would cost him his eye. Master was hit in the left eye by a foul ball. It is the latest in such spectator injuries and is part of an ongoing debate over the liability of such teams for torts.

Master was not just shocked by the injury, but the reaction of the team:”It wasn’t long that I was laying there and I could hear the EMT’s saying ‘Oh my God, why are they still playing ball?’ and I actually heard them say stop playing and another ball came our way. . . I’ve not been contacted one time or anything. It’s as though they have no care, interest or fault or anything.”

The Grasshoppers have a standard warning on the back of tickets and post signs around the park stating that they are not responsible for injuries. Such signs are designed to support an assumption of the risk defense and waiver claims. In my torts class, we often debate whether such teams should be held to a strict liability rule as the “cheapest cost avoider.”

Ticket and sign disclaimers do not legally bar any and all injuries due to negligence of the team. There remains, however, remarkable variation in how courts deal with such cases.

For the full story, click here.

5 thoughts on “Grasshoppers Destroy Man’s Eye and Disclaim Liability”

  1. Grasshoppers.

    Who do they think they are?

    Bunch of Jiminy Cricket pest bastards…

  2. I think what happened to him is very unfortunate. Nobody wants that. But in major league games they don’t stop play when a fan is hit by a foul ball, either. Since it’s likely this is the first time something this severe has happened with this small ball club, I doubt they were prepared to deal with it in any appropriate way. It doesn’t excuse their apparent indifference, but it doesn’t sound like they have a well-oiled PR machine to make follow-up calls, either.

    We all take on a certain amount of risk attending these types of events. Baseball is known to have foul balls, and they do move fast. If he has attended other games he must have known this.

    Still, a shame this happened.

  3. I am taking the kids to tonight’s Nationals v. the Braves game. I am outfitting them with safety googles, padding, and non-skid shoes.

  4. Some hospitals took to heart the idea of admitting to and apologzing for mistakes by staff. Their claim pay out is significantly lower than those dedicated to stonewalling at all costs. What happened to Mr. Master is awful. Is there some point in not making the effort to see that Mr. Master was safely off the field before resuming play? Is there really no one who feels they could call to say they were sorry this happened to him?

    Doing this isn’t a good way to act as a person/group and it isn’t smart from a legal standpoint either.

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