Softbal Player, Hit in Face by Ball, Sues Owner of Diamond

“I lost it in the sun” is a common excuse used by baseball and softball players the world over. But can it be a legal defense? A Canadian softball player, George Black, 53, is suing the owners of a baseball field saying they should have erected some kind of “sun screen” that would have prevented him from getting hit in the face by a pop fly.

Mr. Black was playing third base in a men’s slo-pitch recreational game in Hamilton on May 19, 2004, when the batter hit a line drive right at him during the eighth inning. Mr. Black, a long-time player, lost sight of the ball in the setting sun.  “It hit me in my index finger and my middle finger, crushing the index finger and fracturing the middle finger,” he recalled. “It cut me in my eyebrow for 20 stitches, and then it drove my glasses into my face and now my eye is traumatized so the right pupil is much larger than the left.”

Mr. Black filed a lawsuit, but not against the batter or any other player. He sued the owner of the diamond, steel giant ArcelorMittal Dofasco.  Mr. Black alleged Dofasco should have erected a sun screen at the diamond to protect players. The company considered putting a screen there months earlier but failed to do so, he added.  He also alleged the company failed to inspect the diamond or “warn [Mr. Black] of the dangers of the sun at the particular time of day.”

Slo-pitch player sues field owner after being struck by ball – The Globe and Mail

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