Can You Sue a Sports Team After Suffering an Injury at a Stadium?

Now that baseball season is underway, thousands of fans throughout Nassau County will either watch the Yankees or the Mets compete in their respective stadiums. Although these games are fun for the whole family, there is still a risk of injury whenever you attend one.

In the event of an injury at a stadium, it may be possible to sue the appropriate team owner to recover compensation for any medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. However, on the back of most tickets to sporting events, there is a disclaimer waiving liability for any injuries a fan sustains while at the arena.

While these disclaimers are considered valid, there are some exceptions. The main thing is that stadium owners are legally required to minimize potential risks of injury to visitors. If a victim proves that the owner failed to minimize such risks, they may have a valid claim.

The following are the most common fan injuries at baseball stadiums:

  • Getting struck by balls or bats – Sometimes, fans are hit in the head or other parts of the body by foul balls and even bats. However, many states have a so-called “baseball rule,” which means that as long as dangerous areas of the crowd—such as behind home plate—have net protection, then spectators who sit in other places in the stadium automatically assume the risk of injury. But if the stadium owner failed to make the net large enough to offer adequate protection to fans, victims may have a legal case against the stadium owner.
  • Slip and falls at a stadium – Slip and falls are one of the most common causes of injury at sports arenas since fans often spill their drinks on the ground or the restroom floors are constantly wet due to excessive use. However, most of these injuries are not caused by stadium negligence. To prove that a stadium is at fault for a slip-and-fall injury, the victim must show the owner knew or should’ve known the floor was unreasonably sleek and didn’t take the proper steps to repair the issue.
  • Injuries caused by T-shirt cannons – Between innings, stadiums give fans an opportunity to catch free t-shirts that are fired by T-shirt cannons. While it is extremely rare, accidents can still happen. In fact, a Houston woman is suing the Astros for $1 million after claiming a T-shirt gun fired by the Astros’ mascot Orbit broke her finger in July 2018. In another case, a White Sox fan sued the organization after suffering an injury going after a T-shirt shot from a T-shirt gun. While the White Sox and the fan reached a settlement, the Astros are currently fighting the claims against them.

If you have suffered an injury caused by a negligent party in Nassau County, contact our experienced legal team at Foley Griffin, LLP and schedule a free consultation today.