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Fan Lawsuit Could Change How Baseball Teams Are Insured

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O’FALLON, MO (KMOX) - It happens several times a game but a lawsuit filed by a fan who lost an eye after being hit by a foul ball at a minor league baseball game may force teams and stadium operators to take a closer look at how they protect fans and themselves.

Until recently, courts have ruled that stadium owners cannot be held liable for fans hurt by thrown or batted balls but the Idaho Supreme Court is allowing one fan, who was hit while talking to a friend, sue for negligence.

In O’Fallon, River City Rascals General Manager Dan Dial says if the jury rules in favor of the fan, all sports venue operators would have to come up with new policies and procedures “whether that’s an increasing in your safety measures in the ballpark or making sure that you have the correct insurances in place.”

Dial says it is possible the cost of adding stadium protection and increasing insurance coverage could put some teams out of business.

“It could set a new precedent among insurers and how they look at insuring baseball teams and stadiums. That could cause a rise in premium costs,” he explained.

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