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Sports Stadium Liability - Can I Sue if I Was Injured as a Patron at a Game?

When it comes to injuries at stadiums and sports facilities, there are often two types of accidents that cause injuries to fans: slip and falls and getting struck by a ball or puck. However, are stadium owners and staff liable for these type of injuries? While proving the negligent actions of these parties can be difficult, it is still possible in specific circumstances.

Slip & Fall Injuries at a Stadium or Sports Complex

If someone drops a beverage on the floor, and you slip a few minutes later, the stadium owner would not be considered negligent. Just because you slipped and fell doesn’t mean that the stadium owner was negligent. Additionally, simply because the floor was slippery doesn’t mean that it was caused by negligent actions.

In order to prove that the stadium owner was negligent, you need to show that the owner was aware or should’ve reasonably known that the floor was unreasonably slippery, and failed to take the proper steps to repair the issue. So, for example, if the stadium owner has reasonable notice that the bathroom floors are continual slippery, failed to do something about it, and that slippery floor resulted in a fan’s injury, the owner can be held liable for the accident.

Being Struck by a Ball or Puck

Another common occurrence at baseball and hockey games is fans getting hit by a ball or puck. Due to the high velocity in which these objects were traveling, these types of injuries can be quite severe.

So can you sue the stadium owner if you are struck by a ball, puck, or any object? It depends on the circumstances. Generally, when you buy your ticket for a game you consent to the risks involved, however, in cases of negligence you may have grounds for a case.

If you are at a sports event and turn over your ticket, you will see a few paragraphs of legalese in extremely small print. This is the stadium owner’s disclaimer of legal responsibility for any injuries which might occur to fans at the game, such as getting hit by objects and even players.

While these disclaimers are considered valid, there are a few exceptions. Owners still have the responsibility to act reasonably to minimize the risk of injury to fans, such as having netting behind home plate to protect against foul balls. If you were sitting behind home plate and a foul ball went through a hole in the netting, you could argue that the owner failed to properly maintain the netting. If you get struck by a foul ball while sitting between home plate and first base, you might be able to argue that the netting was not wide enough.

For more information, contact our Midland personal injury attorney at Dean Law Firm today.