Fan sues Cincinnati Reds for foul ball injury

Fan sues Cincinnati Reds for foul ball injury
Great American Ball Park on a previous Opening Day. File photo

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Liberty Township couple is suing the Cincinnati Reds LLC, Hamilton County Board of Commissioners and others after a foul ball hit one of them in the face two years ago.

Kimberlee Slusher suffered severe and permanent injuries requiring extensive treatment when the ball struck the right side of her face on Aug. 25, 2017, at Great American Ballpark, according to the suit.

The suit claims those injuries include but are not limited to concussion, dental injuries causing loss of teeth and resulting in surgery, headaches, right hip sprain.

It also alleges she has experienced severe pain and suffering and will continue to experience it in the future, has incurred medical expense and will continue to incur further medical expense, has lost wages and will continue to lose wages in the future; and "has sustained a loss of the enjoyment of life.”

The lawsuit was filed last week in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, claiming the Reds and county knew or should have known of the risk of injury to park guests caused by foul balls.

In fact, the suit states, less than one month after Slusher’s injury, the Reds announced a plan to install expanded netting at Great American Ball Park ahead of the 2018 season.

The new netting would stretch to the far ends of each dugout.

RELATED | Reds will install additional netting at GABP for 2018 season

Major League Baseball announced in early 2018 that all Major League ballparks will have protective netting extending to at least the far ends of both dugouts by 2018 Opening Day.

The decision came after a young girl was injured by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium during the 2017 season. The foul ball came off the bat of Todd Frazier, a former Reds player.

For Opening Day in 2018, additional netting was installed that extends to the end of each dugout and the existing netting behind home plate has been replaced, a Reds spokesman, Michael Anderson, said Thursday.

He declined comment on the lawsuit, saying they don’t discuss pending litigation.

So did a spokeswoman for Hamilton County.

In addition to the Reds and county, the suit also names Humana, Delta Dental of Michigan, ABC Corporation and John Does #1-3.

Defendants ABC Corporation and John Does, #1-#3 were also responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of Great American Ball Park and knew or should have known of the risk of injury created by the inadequate netting, according to the suit.

“Their identities are unknown and cannot reasonably be discovered at this time,” the suit reads.

According to the Reds website now, ticket holders assume all risks incidental to the game of baseball, including, but not limited to, the risk of objects leaving the field of play, including bats and bat fragments, and thrown or batted balls.

The Slushers are seeking a judgement against the parties jointly and severally for more than $25,000.00, plus interest and costs, and “all other relief to which Plaintiffs may be entitled," the lawsuit states.

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