Lawsuit asks MLB to extend safety nets to foul poles

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - Major League Baseball will hear input from team owners before making a decision related to fan safety. A class action lawsuit filed earlier this year is asking the league to extend safety nets beyond the home plate area. The suit was filed by an Oakland Athletics ticket holder.

Major League Baseball will take input from all 30 teams during an owners meeting scheduled for November in Dallas. It is possible safety nets could be extended to areas beyond home plate.

Local personal injury attorney Shaun Faldy from the Brown & Crouppen law firm said teams are not held legally responsible for fan injuries resulting from foul balls and flying bats, for the most part.

“This is kind of considered under the law to be one of the more open and obvious type risks there are,” said Faldy. “Cases like this over time have really gotten no traction at all.”

Faldy said the class action lawsuit includes interesting comments from players.

“Some of the players wouldn’t allow their own family members to sit in some of the unexposed seats,” said Faldy.

Joann Whitener was at Tuesday’s St. Louis Blues game. The longtime season ticket holder was once hit by a flying puck.

“The puck hit me in the head, and I ended up underneath the seat,” she said.

Faldy was struck years ago, before the NHL put protective netting around each end of the ice. That decision was made after a girl was struck and killed by a flying puck in Columbus.

“I’m all in favor of more netting,” Whitener said.

Some of the other fans attending the Blues game were split over what MLB should do.

“I don’t think extra netting would be a problem,” said one fan.

Others believe fans need to do a better job of watching the game and keeping the eyes on the field – or ice.

“You just really need to watch the game, and pay attention,” said one fan.

MLB does not plan on making any announcements about changes until it hears from team owners next month.

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