November 20, 2007
Look Both Ways
The baseball stadium in Auburn New York is adjacent to a two-lane street. The team had a promotion that gave free tickets to anyone who returned a foul ball. A minor ran into the street chasing a foul ball and was struck by a driver who had been drinking, as revealed by his blood alcohol test. The minor was wearing headphones and failed to look both ways prior to entering traffic. There was some evidence of the minor's prior experience in chasing foul balls per the ticket giveaway.
A suit was filed against the team owners. The New York Court of Appeals concluded that the risks of running into the street are well known and the team has no control over the street. The promotion did not create a duty that forms a basis for liability. (Mike Frisch)
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