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Injuries at Petco Park: Stadium Liability

by John Gomez | Last Updated: March 27, 2016

Injuries at Petco Park fall into two categories: those sustained from slip and fall accidents, and those caused by rogue baseballs and shards of broken bats. Each year, Major League Baseball foul balls injure about 1,750 spectators at MLB games – including many children, some of whom were hospitalized with fractured skulls, concussions, and other serious injuries.

What Does the Law Say About MLB Park Liability?

Many fans look forward to catching a foul ball that flies into the stands and few consider the possibility of injury. Now, some of MLB’s biggest fans have filed a class-action lawsuit against the commissioner of baseball, Rob Manfred, for failing to enact proper safety measures against foul ball and bat injuries.

After years of staggering statistics on injuries caused at MLB games, a pattern of negligence appears to be responsible for many of the spectators’ hospitalizations. Every year fans suffer preventable injuries in the stands, yet the commissioner continues to promote ballparks as safe places for families. The park has done little to ensure spectator safety and easy fixes abound – complete safety netting or ample hazard warnings to fans.

Other major accidents that occur at Petco Park are spill-related slip and fall injuries, some of which have resulted in severe damages and hospitalization. Schools advertise bleachers as family-friendly zones, yet many argue there are not enough warnings or action taken by employees when there is a hazardous spill. Children and the elderly are especially at risk in these situations, as a fall down the bleachers can be permanently damaging.

As more and more people sustain serious injuries including brain hemorrhages and blindness after being hit in the stands and broken limbs and concussions after slipping and falling, people wonder if suing for damages and compensation is possible.

When Petco Park Can Be Held Responsible?

At every MLB game at Petco Park, the tickets have a paragraph of legal-speak in fine print on the back. This acts as a disclaimer of legal responsibility for injuries spectators may suffer at the stadium and is the defense ballparks use against these lawsuits. While this defense is valid, there are important exceptions fans should know.

The owners of Petco Park have an obligation to minimize the risk of injury to spectators, including placing adequate netting and warning signs around the stadium. They are legally obligated to act reasonably to protect people against foul balls and premises hazards. The MLB stadium industry has standards for netting placement, but not every park meets these standards.

In the event of an injury at Petco Park, you may receive compensation depending on the circumstances. Despite the disclaimer, if stadium owners or the commissioner had acted reasonably, according to their legal duties, they could have prevented many injuries. This is negligence and can be argued as such in a court of law.

Instances of negligence at stadiums in the past have included holes in protective netting, netting that is too small or misplaced, inadequate response to large spills, bleacher malfunctions, and more. While spectators assume a certain level of risk during MLB games, there are many instances where the authorities who could prevent the risks can be held responsible for their negligence.

Injured at Petco Park?

If you’ve sustained any type of injury while in the stadium at Petco Park, you may qualify to file a lawsuit for compensation of damages. The trial attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys were voted Number 1 in the San Diego, California, area for 2015 and 2016. Our personal injury lawyers take every accident seriously, and we understand the pain and suffering you and your family may be going through. Don’t let your claim go unheard – contact us today for aggressive, experienced defense.









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