Assumption of Liability & the Baseball Rule
Imagine you’re at the Phillies game, and you have really great seats. You have your nachos, your drink, and you’ve got a great view from between home and 3rd. Your best man has planned the perfect bachelor party, and you’re ready to enjoy it. There’s a fast ball and Ruiz looks ready for it. He swings, and it sounds like he got a piece of it, but you can’t see where it went. Until the foul ball comes out of the sun and smacks you in the face.
Your nose is crooked, your eyes are swollen, and you can feel bruises starting to form. Your fiancé is going to kill you, her parents have paid thousands of dollars for your wedding. She cries about the ruined pictures, until her cousin says, “You should sue the ballpark for ruining your pictures, you could make a million dollars.”
Unfortunately, no. If you look on the back of your ticket you will see an assumption of liability printed there. Under the “baseball rule” as long as a stadium or landowner has provided reasonable protection by screening off the most dangerous areas of seating, they are not generally held responsible for injuries from a foul ball. Simply put, there are certain dangers that are inherent to certain activities. You can’t sue a rock gym when you fall, because you sign something saying you understand that falling is a real risk.
Using that ticket is the same as signing that form, being hit by a foul ball is a risk when you see a baseball game. Make sure, when you go to a baseball game, you read the back of the ticket. Be sure to know what risks you are assuming, so you know what to be prepared for.