Former Chicago White Sox player Dustin Fowler is suing the team and the agency that manages Guaranteed Rate Field for negligence following his knee injury in June 2017. Fowler ran after a foul ball and collided with an electrical box at knee level. He suffered a rupture of the patella tendon in his right knee which ended his career with the White Sox. After knee surgery, Fowler required six months of recovery and the Chicago team traded him to the Oakland A’s. The baseball player has subsequently filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court charging the White Sox and the Illinois Sports Facilities with negligence because the electrical box was unpadded and created a safety hazard.
Player safety and the often long-term consequences of their injuries have become a big issue in sports. In So Much For Safety Of Non-Contact Sports — Why Injuries Plague MLB, Leigh Steinberg, Forbes.com, July 7, 2016, wrote:
Because the Grand Old Pastime is a “non-contact” sport, the assumption is that it must be safer and less injury prone than other team sports. The reality is that there are 375 injuries in MLB so far this year. 507 players were on the disabled list for injuries last year compared to 476 NFL players who missed time. If the play of baseball does not involve physical contact between participants, what accounts for the carnage? Baseball is a game which takes a body at rest and immediately demands maximum exertion in a swing, a pitch, running the bases at top speed, running in the field, and throwing in the field. That exertion causes strain on every joint. While baseball’s design is not player-to-player contact, it occurs as well as the body colliding with the field and fence, often in an awkward position.
Allegations of negligence may arise in a myriad of situations. Litigation may involve mechanical engineering, health and safety, sports and recreation, and other disciplines. Negligence lawsuits rely on expert witnesses who provide unbiased reports and opinions on the details and facts of each case.