On August 30th, the last Braves game of an enthusiastic three-game series against the Yankees turned into tragedy: A 60-year-old baseball fan from Alpharetta lost his balance while “booing” a Yankee player and fell five stories from a second-row seat in section 401. Was it a child; a bar fight? Several minutes of frenzy went by before fans understood what the commotion was about.
Writer Bill Torpy of the AJC and other witnesses described the scene as “surreal.” EMTs rushed to the scene to revive Mr. Murray while fans stood about in horror after realizing what had happened. Some Braves fans who had witnessed the fall gathered their children and left. The game continued on following the incident, however, and the crowd was much more silent this time. “Take Me Out to The Ballgame” and “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” were played as usual while emergency workers attempted to save the man’s life. A few hours later, the long-time Atlanta Braves fan, Gregory “Ace” Murray, was pronounced dead at Grady Hospital.
Mr. Murray’s fatal fall is the fourth to occur at Turner Field and the 24th fatal fall at a baseball park since 1969, according to Robert Gorman, co-author of the book “Death at the Ballpark.” Three of these falls were due to the low railings of the upper deck, suggesting that proper safety standards may not be in place. In a statement released by the Atlanta Braves, officials have assured fans that “the safety measures at Turner Field are at or above code requirements” and that they are working with architects to “ensure SunTrust Park has effective safety protocols in place at the time of opening”–words that may be consoling to SunTrust Park’s future visitors, but aren’t nearly enough for the family of the man who lost his life just two weeks ago.
Previously, Kaufman Law, P.C. has explained the long-standing “Baseball Law” which protects the MLB or a major-league baseball team from being sued for wrongful death. The rule states that fans must take proper precautions at baseball games in order to prevent injury.
According to AllLaw, injuries at stadiums and sports facilities typically fall into two categories:
- Standard premises liability injuries, including slip and falls.
- Injuries that occur when a fan is hit by a ball during a sports event.
Luckily, Georgia is one of the few states who has declined the use of the “Baseball Law” in personal injury cases. If negligence can be proven, victims and/or their families may be entitled to compensation for their losses. These losses include loss of income, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. An attorney can guide you through the process of protecting your legal rights and obtaining the compensation you deserve.
To learn more, check out our case results for more information about our past successes with premises liability cases.