Last night, a young woman in Boston was impaled in her forehead by a broken bat. She sustained life threatening injuries according to the Boston Globe report:
A woman sitting down the third baseline at Fenway Park Friday night had to be carted out of the stadium after she was hit by a broken bat, and her injuries appeared to be “life-threatening” that night, Boston police spokeswoman Rachel McGuire told Boston.com.
In the second inning, Oakland Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie shattered his bat on a pitch from Red Sox hurler Wade Miley; a piece of the bat flew into the stands, striking the woman in the head.
Boston Globe reporter reported that there was “lots of blood” and called it an “awful scene.”
The woman, who was sitting near the field with an unidentified man and her son, was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, McGuire said. The game was delayed while she was treated and removed from the stadium.
Other reports indicated that fans offered paramedics their t-shirts to help stop the bleeding as it was described as being more blood than anyone had ever seen. Fans in the section were in shock and silence when the grounds crew had to come to the area to clean up the blood. The umpires and players on the field who saw the incident huddled on the field during the delay, obviously shaken up by the event.
Fan safety was an issue when Wrigley Field opened up without any real sanitation. A woman was hit in the back of her head by a foul ball behind the plate as it stretched the netting causing the impact. More and more parks have little to no foul ground so as the owners can add more premium seats. But this adds an additional level of risk for screaming foul balls at 100 plus miles per hour hitting a patron, or as last night, a sharp projectile flying into the stands.
There is some precedent for ball park owner liability in these matters.
It may have come down to what hockey had to do - - - install nets all around the lower level of the arena. With current manufacturing technologies, one can assume that netting can be made clear and transparent as to not hinder the view of the fans in the box seats.