Ellicott City woman injured by flying baseball bat at Camden Yards files lawsuit
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BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- The fan hit by a baseball bat last July at Camden Yards is seeking $75,000 and calling on the stadium to lengthen protective netting to the outer edges of its dugouts.
Patricia Dowdell says her fiancé was pointing to the scoreboard when Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis' bat flew into the stands and hit her.
“Skull and orbital fractures, subarachnoid hemorrhage, brain swelling, permanent traumatic brain injury. These are some of the injuries that Plaintiff Patricia Ann Dowdell suffered when a baseball bat flew out of Chris "Crush" Davis' hands on July 23, 2016 and launched into the stands where Plaintiff was sitting,” the lawsuit states.
The suit alleges that the MLB is aware of the danger faced by fans seated behind the dugouts on the first and third-base lines and that a third of MLB teams have taken measures, installing safety netting, to prevent injuries to fans seated in those sections.
“But MLB and the Orioles choose to ignore this known risk,” the lawsuit continues. “That choice has left spectators such as Ms. Dowdell exposed to physical injury. For the Orioles, it was foreseeable that their decision to ignore the standard set by seven other MLB teams would result in a fan being injured by a bat propelled into the stands because Mr. Davis has done just that on numerous, documented occasions. In fact, his bat flew into the stands the game after Ms. Dowdell's skull was fractured.”
In response to requests for comment, MLB told FOX45 that they make recommendations to clubs and sent a press release from December 9, 2015 that states, in part, “Clubs are encouraged to implement or maintain netting…that shields from line-drive foul balls all field level seats that are located between the near ends of both dugouts.”
The suit filed by Dowdell specifies that she does not hold Davis responsible for her injuries.
"Mr. Davis is not to blame - he is just doing his job and his job requires that he swing hard," the lawsuit notes. "But, when MLB and the Orioles know that he hurls his bat into the stands on such a frequent basis and they know which fans are at the highest risk for serious injury, they are obligated to protect those fans. They were obligated to protect Ms. Dowdell."