Lawsuit filed for girl injured by foul ball at Braves game

The father of a girl who suffered brain injuries from a foul ball at an Atlanta Braves game is suing the team, saying it failed to provide proper protection to keep the accident from occurring.

The girl, who was 6 at the time, and her parents were sitting behind the visitor's dugout at Turner Field during an Aug. 30, 2010, game against the New York Mets when she was struck in the head by a foul ball "hit at an incredible rate of speed," the lawsuit said.

Neither the girl's nor her father's names were disclosed in the lawsuit to protect the girl's privacy, the family's lawyer, Mike Moran, said. The ball fractured the girl's skull, he said.

The suit, filed Monday in Fulton County State Court, seeks unspecified damages for the girl's pain and suffering, punitive damages and compensation for the family's medical expenses, which are expected to exceed $100,000. Other defendants named in the complaint include the Braves' owner, Liberty Media Corp., and Major League Baseball Enterprises.

Before the accident occurred, the parties knew they needed to protect spectators seated in high-risk areas of the ballpark, such as where the girl was seated, from foul balls and broken bats, the lawsuit said.

The Braves knew of the "dangerous and hazardous conditions" at the ballpark due to prior incidents where spectators in "high-risk areas" were injured by foul balls and broken bats, the suit said.

Beth Marshall, a spokeswoman for the Braves, did not have immediate comment. She said she was unaware of the lawsuit.

Braves' tickets include the warning: "The holder assumes all risk and danger incidental to the game of baseball, whether occurring prior to, during or subsequent to, the actual playing of the game, including specifically ... the danger of being injured by thrown or batted balls, thrown or broken bats." The Braves also flash warnings on the scoreboard during games.

But Moran said young children would not necessarily get the message.

"It's a very very dangerous situation that can be easily remedied," Moran said Wednesday. "They can make it a safer place for the fans, in particular the children, who go to games. ... The easy remedy is to put up more netting."

Moran said today's baseball games are much different than they were many years ago.

"The players are much stronger and bigger and the balls are hit harder than they ever were before," he said. "This was 2010, not 1910. ... The balls now travel so fast there is no way a child can get out of the way."

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