Girl Injured by Line Drive in Yankee Stadium
A young girl suffered a severe facial injury and had to be carried out of her seating area at Yankee Stadium after she was struck by a foul ball flying at 106 mph, the afternoon of September 20, 2017. According to a report in The New York Times, the Yankees victory over the Minnesota Twins was overshadowed by the unsettling incident in the fifth inning. The girl, who was bleeding, had to be carried to an exit by her grandfather who later identified himself as a Yankees season ticket holder. The family is still looking into whether the girl would need surgery.
The Issue of Safety Netting
This is apparently the third time this season that a fan at Yankee Stadium has been struck and injured by either a foul ball or a shattered bat during a game. Every instance has revived the debate about what Major League Baseball should do better to protect fans. In 2015, all 30 teams agreed to extend the traditional protective netting behind home plate to the inner edge of the dugouts. About a third of the teams, including the Mets, have extended the netting further.
But the Yankees have yet to expand the nets although they issued a statement last month that they were seriously considering the option. In this week’s incident, had the Yankees extended their netting, the ball would not have reached the stands and injured the girl. The hope is that this week’s incident will increase the pressure on the Yankees to act quickly to make their netting longer and protect the people to come to watch them.
Safety Should Come First
The legislation to have protective netting was introduced back in May by New York City Councilman Rafael Espinal. He plans to hold a public hearing on the issue October 25. A paramedic told the Times that the girl was struck by the ball in the nose and the right eye. Other spectators called the incident “brutal” and said the girl lost a lot of blood. The Yankees are reportedly working on the netting issue but say they have received complaints from fans who say their views will be affected by additional netting. The girl’s current condition is not known.
As personal injury attorneys who represent the right of severely and catastrophically injured individuals, we certainly hope Yankee stadium puts the welfare of spectators first and finds a creative way to protect them while preserving views of the stadium. It is irresponsible and unacceptable to let this dangerous situation continue.