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Child injured at minor-league baseball game

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by DwightKSchrute, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. DwightKSchrute

    DwightKSchrute New Member

    Sorry for how long this is, but wanted some opinions on what your reaction would be if you were the parent in this situation ...

    My 10-year-old daughter went to a minor-league baseball game a few weeks ago with a friend and her friend's family. She was picked for one of those between-innings games of musical chairs on the field with the big inflatable chairs. It was her, another girl her age, a teenage girl and 4 adults (3 of them males). As it was getting down to the end, it turned into a little bit of a wrestling-type deal, and when it was down to my daughter and the 3 adult males, she and one of the men went to sit down on the same chair at the same time. He ended up sitting on her arm and breaking it.

    I'm pissed at her friend's parents for allowing her to participate in this game given the age differences of the others involved, since it always seems to get physical, and I'm more pissed at the team for allowing adults and children to be mixed in something like this. From my daughter's reports, the man who sat on her was apparently sitting in the same row she was, and was going in and out of the row the entire game, getting 2 and 3 beers at a time. She doesn't have a huge frame of reference, but she says he was very drunk. So I also question their selection/screening process.

    Part of me is just thankful it's a broken arm that will heal in a couple of months and not a broken neck or something like that it could easily have been. But part of me wants someone to pay for my daughter losing a good chunk of her summer and missing out on things she already was involved heavily in (swim team, volleyball team, junior lifeguard) because the team didn't have reasonable safeguards in place to begin with. Before it's over, between urgent care visits, orthopedic specialist visits, X-rays and the like, we're probably going to be $500-ish out of pocket.

    I contacted the team's GM with my concerns and asking for a copy of any release that was signed on my daughter's behalf. He responded to say he would look into it and be in contact soon. That was 2 weeks ago, and e-mails I've sent him since (I want it in writing and not on the phone) have been unanswered. I did get a call from the VP of Claims with the big-league team's insurance carrier, and he said to contact him when she's back to 100 percent and "we'll take care of it and make things right." He also sounded very frustrated with the minor-league team, saying "Some of the claims that we are getting out of the (Hacktown) team, we have never seen from any of the professional baseball teams we cover."

    My question to you: What would "make things right" if this was your child?
  2. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    How severe is the broken arm? Is it something with permanent damage, a small fracture, or somewhere in between.

    You always can consult a lawyer, who would probably be able to get the team to respond a lot faster. At the least, they should pay for her out-of-pocket medical expenses. Maybe they'll kick in something for pain and suffering. But a lawyer might be able to get you more.
  3. DwightKSchrute

    DwightKSchrute New Member

    Thanks Baron. It's somewhere in between with the break. It's a clean break, but it's close to the elbow so they are worried about regaining full range of motion in the arm. So instead of 6 weeks in the cast and then go back to normal, it's 3 weeks in a cast and then probably some visits to a physical therapist to work on getting to where she can fully extend and bend the arm without pain.

    My wife and I have talked about it a ton since it happened, and if the GM would have gotten back to us in a timely fashion and said we were right and they are going to make sure adults and kids are not together in that game in the future, it would have ended it right there for us. It was, after all, an accident. But the more they stall, and haven't even made the first inquiry to how she's doing, the more I want them to feel some pain as a result of their poor decisions.

    I don't really want to be the "run to a lawyer" guy, but I'm pretty sure that's what is going to happen. If they have turned things over to their claims department, whose job presumably is to make sure they pay out as little as possible, it only seems to be the prudent move to have a lawyer handle it on our end.
  4. Gutter

    Gutter Well-Known Member

    Geez, how stupid is the minor league team to allow a physical on-field promotion mixed with adults and children? The minor league team I do parttime work for always requires a waiver be signed for any physical activity on the field. The team also isn't dumb enough to put kids out there with adults.

    However, waiver be damned, the team should be liable.

    And if the GM doesn't return phone calls and emails, start working your way up the organizational tree. He reports to someone.
  5. As an adult, I can't imagine going to a ballgame and being asked to play musical chairs with a 10-year-old girl. Then to break her arm? I'd feel like a world-class asshole.
  6. DwightKSchrute

    DwightKSchrute New Member

    That is the first thing that has come out of the mouths of everyone who has heard about what happened. Literally, 100 percent of them ask this question.

    I asked the insurance guy if I should be in contact with the GM for anything as this plays out, and his response was, "Don't waste your time with him." I contemplated going to someone with the big-league club and letting them know what little response I've gotten at the local level and how a call from the insurance company isn't enough to placate us.

    Maybe you can help, Gutter. I can't figure out who my first contact with the MLB team should be. Is there generally a title or department I should be looking for when going down the list of who oversees their minor-league operations at the big-league level?
  7. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Call a lawyer. It'll cost some money, but any time a minor child ends up with a fractured bone you should be talking enough money to at least cover the legal bills and most medical expenses.

    When the lawyers start calling you can bet the Hacktown GM will start returning your emails in a big hurry. Give him 24 hours (close your emails with the line, 'we expect your response within 24 hours), then start sending registered letters. To the OWNER. Don't screw around with any subordinates in the food chain.

    Unless the minor league team is owned and operated by the MLB parent franchise, they will probably try to wash their hands of it completely. However CC them on all correspondence (even if they are not directly liable, they may well just call their flunkies in Hacktown and say, 'goddamn it, pay these people off, get them out of your hair and out of our hair').

    Don't forget to sue Fatass Drunkass (the guy who actually did the arm-breaking) too. His pockets probably aren't as deep as the ballclub's, but no reason he (or his insurance company) shouldn't get taken to the mat too.
  8. DwightKSchrute

    DwightKSchrute New Member

    Thanks, Starman. The GM is the highest in the pecking order at this level, and the team is owned and operated by the big-league team. We've kept a log of every single minute and every single dollar we've spent since it happened.

    One thing we did: The team's "official" photographer has a web site where you can buy photos from each game, action and fans, etc. Even after finding out there was an accident they may be liable for, they weren't stupid enough to take the photos down of the guy slamming into my daughter, then the next frame of her holding up her broken arm as she starts to cry. Then as the activity goes on, you can see her in the background, obviously hurt, and no one coming to even check on her. We ordered and received a nice set of all those relevant photos.

    I'm looking for people to feel her pain on this one.
  9. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Call a lawyer. A good lawyer.

    My first thought would be was the guy drinking before the event with your daughter? Hopefully the schlub was paying for it with a credit card.

    They fucked up. Anyone with an ounce of common sense does not allow an adult, especially one that does not know the child, to play a game like this. And if this guy was drinking at all, your family has the possibility to be compensated well.

    They may throw some horseshit at you that she was volunteering, but she was volunteering to be in a safe game. Not one with adults, and if this guy had a single beer that night, not one with adults who were drinking.

    Get a good lawyer. Now.
  10. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    The team is owned by the MLB franchise?

    Now you're talking BAZILLIONS!!!


    If you have photos of the whole sequence, you should be golden.

    The lawyers should probably give you better advice, but I would guess if a nifty settlement offer is not fairly quickly forthcoming they may suggest the PR-campaign option: contact your local teevee stations and newspapers with the story. If that kind of stuff starts gaining steam on the Twitterverse most MLB legal functionaries will say, "let's pay whatever we have to to get this damn thing to go away."
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  11. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Lawyer up. You won't break their bank, but you'll get all your time, money and pain and suffering compensated. How far away is the big league team? Hell, I might even be tempted to show up at the big league team's front office with my lawyer to show how pissed I am at the fucking morons at the MiLB office.
  12. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Once again a real lawyer will probably tell you more definitively, but the fact your daughter was attending with a friend's family almost certainly makes any 'waiver' which may have been signed worthless.

    1) at age 10, your daughter is not considered legally competent to sign away her own rights, and

    2) the parents of her friends have no authority whatsoever to do so (unless you signed a formal and very specific in loco parentis agreement, which I suspect is rather unlikely).

    The only people who can sign such a waiver and have it even possibly hold up in court are the actual legal parents/guardians, i.e., you.

    I am sure this will probably be one of the first issues the lawyer seizes upon.
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