$48,000 Verdict: Premises Liability – Dangerous Property
Rabinowitz v. St. Louis Cardinals
A 13-year-old sued the St. Louis Cardinals for premises liability after he broke his arm in a contest at Busch Stadium.
As part of a promotion, the Cardinals had set up a game outside the stadium requiring contestants to sprint 60 feet between a simulated home plate and first base. Their time was recorded by an electric eye and the names of the fastest contestants were posted on the scoreboard during the baseball game.
A wall was placed 10 feet beyond home plate to prevent injury. The wall was made of plywood reinforced with steel and was covered with six inches of padding.
Brad Rabinowitz, who had played the game more than 15 times previously, struck the wall and broke both bones in his forearm. He had two surgeries to repair the injury but suffered no long term disability.
Rabinowitz claimed in his lawsuit that there should have been no wall at the end of the run or that it should have been placed more than 10 feet beyond home plate. The Cardinals argued that Rabinowitz played the game too aggressively and that he was solely responsible for his injury.
A jury awarded Rabinowitz $60,000, but found him to be 20 percent at fault, reducing his judgment to $48,000.
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