Thursday, January 31, 2013
A judgment on behalf of a Major League umpire against Wilson Sporting Goods was affirmed today by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Umpire Ed Hickox was wearing a mask given to him by a Wilson representative, with "what the representative claimed was a new, safer design." He was injured while wearing the mask while working the plate at a Washington Nationals game when a ninth-inning foul ball hit his mask. He suffered a concussion and moderate loss of hearing.
The mask "had a newly designed throat guard that angled forward instead of extending straight down." The foul hit the throat guard and "the mask did not deflect the ball but rather temporarily trapped the ball, concentrating the ball's energy at the point of impact."
The court rejected Wilson's attacks on the expert testimony and that an assumption of risk instruction was improperly denied.
The court concluded that the evidence was sufficient to support the verdict. (Mike Frisch)