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A fan attending a Los Angeles Angels home game last season was blinded after being struck in the face by a baseball Juan Lagares allegedly threw into the stands. Now, the fan has filed a lawsuit against the team.
The man who was blinded, David Mermelstein, is seeking an unspecified amount of monetary damages after his attorney filed a civil complaint in Orange County Superior Court earlier this week.
According to the suit, Lagares caught the third out to end an inning and “randomly hurled the ball into the stands at high velocity” that “crushed” Mermelstein’s left eye. The suit claims he was looking down eating peanuts before raising his head and being struck by the baseball.
Fan Suing Angels After Being Blinded By Baseball
The lawsuit, according to NBC LA, alleges that in giving away a souvenir ball, Lagares “had a duty to do so reasonably and safely” instead of throwing the ball “with such force and velocity that it traveled over the outfield wall, up 10 rows and smashed into the eye socket of an unsuspecting fan.”
Sadly, the story has other unfortunate layers to it.
According to Mermelstein’s friend who invited him to the game, he was looking to “get his mind off troubles for a few hours” as his father had just passed away and Mermelstein himself had recently been diagnosed with brain cancer.
As for the suit, the argument Mermelstein’s lawyer is presenting is that his client’s injury occurred after play had been stopped and came from a player voluntarily. The Angels’ guest guide states, “fans should remain alert of the game at all times as bats and balls have the potential to leave the field of play.”