On October 13, 2019, the Houston Astros hosted the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) at Minute Maid Park. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Houston Astro outfielder Michael Brantley fouled off a 108-mile-per-hour line drive directly into the Houston Astros’ dugout which struck a paramedic supervisor just above his left eye. On behalf of the man, Attorneys Robert Ammons and Justin Burrow have filed a lawsuit.
Since the inception of Major League Baseball (MLB), foul balls have been a danger to fans and personnel across the league. In recent years, there has been a major push across the MLB to extend protective netting at ballparks to address concerns over spectator safety. Although the Astros were one of the teams to extend their protective netting in 2017, the club chose not to extend netting down the foul poles, despite the fact that other MLB teams, such as the Chicago White Sox, decided to do so. As foul ball-related concerns continued to grow in the MLB as a result of an increasing trend in the number of foul balls hit, the MLB announced their decision to expand netting beyond the end of the dugout for all 30 teams in December 2019. This history shows that the Astros were keenly aware of the hazard created by foul balls, but unfortunately, the Astros still decided that they would not provide a safety net to protect workers in the dugout.
In the lawsuit filed by Miriah Soliz at The Ammons Law Firm LLP, it is alleged that the Astros were aware of the danger posed by the absence of protective netting around the dugout and failed to adequately warn personnel in the dugout of this danger.
Although the paramedic has undergone several surgeries, he continues to experience blurry vision, which has created challenges in his personal and professional life. Additionally, the man has suffered permanent damage to his retina, resulting in lifelong vision loss and post-concussion syndrome.
Former Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and former manager A.J. Hinch have both been subpoenaed to give depositions in the case.
The Ammons Law Firm LLP has a nationwide personal injury practice focusing on tire defects, truck accidents, rollovers, consumer protection, product liability, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seatbelt defects, airbag defects, plant explosions, and policyholder litigation against insurance companies.
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