Jeffrey N. Catalano authored an article in the July 13, 2015 issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly on the potential liability of the Boston Red Sox for injuries to fans from foul balls and broken bats.
Mr. Catalano discusses the issue in light of the recent life threatening injury to Tonya Carpenter, who was struck in the face by a broken bat while attending a Red Sox game at Fenway Park.
A common question arising from the frightening event, Mr. Catalano writes, is whether a fan has a viable claim against the home team if struck by a bat or ball in the stands. "The broader legal question, which applies to many other premises liability cases, is whether a person has a claim when injured by an open and obvious hazard that has been created or maintained by a landowner."
Mr. Catalano notes that the defense of assumption of risk has been abolished in Massachusetts, and that Massachusetts landowners have a duty to remedy an open and obvious danger where they have created and maintained the dangerous condition or unsafe design, and they should anticipate that individuals lawfully on the premises would choose to encounter the risk despite the obvious risk of doing so.
This comes into play at Fenway Park regarding the extent of netting for seats close to home plate, writes Mr. Catalano, who focuses his practice on personal injury law, including premises liability matters.