I Couldn't Watch the Ball Because I Was Watching the Ferris Wheel in Centerfield
Entertainment & Sports Lawyer, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2005
7 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2011
Date Written: January 1, 2005
This article is about the interplay of baseball and litigation, with most cases involving a fan being hit by a foul ball. This article explores whether some of the long-standing legal rules that have governed foul ball case law should be altered to correspond to changes that modern stadiums and the business of baseball have made to fans’ viewing experience. The first part of this article reviews the historical development of “foul ball” law and how the application of the doctrine of assumption of risk to foul ball cases has resulted in almost a complete defense for stadium owners. The second part provides a brief historical overview and application of the “open and obvious” rule in tort law and the development of the “distraction” exception to the rule. The third part explores how the distraction exception has been applied to foul ball cases. The conclusion suggests a distraction-type exception to the assumption of the risk doctrine in foul ball cases.
Keywords: Open and obvious, distraction, fans, baseball, foul, foul ball, risk rule, MN, Minnesota, game, assumption of risk
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