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LaRocca wins Summary Judgment in baseball case

Sweeney & Sheehan senior associate Frank LaRocca obtained summary judgment in Pennsylvania state court on behalf of a baseball team which was part of a national youth baseball league. The plaintiff, who was a spectator and was sitting behind first base, suffered facial fractures when she was struck in the face by a baseball that was overthrown to the first baseman during the warm-up between innings. LaRocca argued that Pennsylvania has consistently applied a “no duty” rule that imposes no duties on baseball teams or field owners to protect spectators from the inherent risks of baseball. The plaintiff unsuccessfully argued that the “no duty” rule did not apply and also that the team was liable for not cordoning off the area or warning spectators not to sit there because the space behind the first baseline was unusually narrow due to the close placement of an adjoining field. The judge rejected both arguments and entered judgment in favor of the baseball team.