Mr. Zlotnick was left with severe damage to his left eye socket and cheekbones. He incurred over $160,000 in medical bills for the reconstructive surgery to his face. He filed a lawsuit against the Yankees in the Bronx Supreme Court (the lowest level of court in New York State – In New Jersey this is the equivalent of a superior court). In his lawsuit he challenged the “Baseball Rule” which effectively says that baseball fans assume the risks of attending a game. In 2015 the case was dismissed but then Zlotnick appealed.
The plaintiff claims that rainy weather resulted in fans opening umbrellas to shield themselves from the inclement weather. The problem was that Zlotnick didn’t have a chance to see the foul ball because the umbrellas were obstructing a significant portion of his view. In his appeal, he argued that Yankee stadium had failed to provide adequate netting to protect the fans. However, the appeals court ruled against Zlotnick and said that he should have realized that the rain and umbrellas might obstruct his view of a foul ball hit into the stands.
Furthermore, the plaintiff was allegedly given warnings by statements placed on the back of his ticket and the back of the seats, as well as by announcements made at the stadium. The judges held that the stadium did in fact have a suitable amount of protection behind home plate.
It is interesting to note, that on September 20, a two year old girl was struck in the face by a 105 mph foul ball hit by Yankee third baseman, Todd Fraizer. That game was stopped for almost five minutes as fans and players waited to see what was going on. Many players and fans were distraught during the moments after this accident. Since this incident, many MLB teams in both the American and National League have announced future plans to increase the netting in the stadium in hopes of preventing future accidents. The toddler injured in that game is reportedly doing ‘okay’.
Despite the planned netting changes, the appeals court still dismissed Zlotnick’s claim. He still has the option to further appeal.
If you have been injured in any sort of accident call Druckman & Hernandez to protect your rights and learn if you are entitled to monetary compensation. Our number is 908-353-5850 and our Elizabeth office is located at 575 Morris Avenue.