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Court Cries Foul: No Duty by Stadium Operator To Non Patrons

November 21, 2007

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New York's highest court held that a stadium operator owed no duty to protect non patron fans from the risk of being struck by a car on an adjacent street. It seems that the stadium operator held a regular promotion promising free tickets to anyone outside the ball park who returned a foul ball to the box office. Tragically, a young 14 year boy was struck by a drunk driver while running into the street to retrieve a foul ball in the hope of snaring his free tickets. The plaintiff claimed that stadium's "foul ball" policy created an incentive for young fans to chase foul balls in the neighboring street, making the risk of injury forseeable and the imposition of a duty of care reasonable. The Court of Appeals disagreed, holding that it was difficult to imagine what the stadium operator could have done to prevent the accident.
Strike three, batter out, and case dismissed.
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