Attorneys for the plaintiff claim that then-Atlanta Braves outfielder Jorge Soler intentionally threw, with “great force,” an overhand ball into the stands, where it struck and severely injured Mayra Norris.
A recently-filed lawsuit claims that a woman suffered “significant and excruciating injuries” after then-Atlanta Braves outfielder Jorge Soler threw a ball into the stands during the 2021 World Series.
According to NBC News, the incident occurred on October 29, 2021, just before the opening of the Braves’ fifth inning against the Houston Astros. Soler, who had just completed warm-up tosses, threw a ball high into the stands. ‘
In her complaint, plaintiff Mayra Norris notes that she, her husband, and brother-in-law were seated in the lower deck of Atlanta’s Truist Park, in Section 109 near the right field foul pole.
Attorneys for Norris say that Soler’s toss was not a typical “arching loop,” commonly employed by players intentionally throwing balls into the stands.
“Defendant Soler threw the ball overhand, with great force, and intensity in the immediate direction of” Norris, the lawsuit alleges.
The ball purportedly hit Norris “directly in her right eye causing extensive and excruciating injury to her right eye.” Injuries included “multiple fractures, a right eye edema, and infra-orbital abrasion.”
Norris was later forced to “seek extensive medical treatments for the injuries” that will, most likely, “require long-term medical care.”
The Braves have since denied any and all wrongdoing, with NBC News noting that it has “been a long-held tenant of civil law that fans surrender nearly all claims of injury from balls and bats flying into the stands at baseball games.”
“Mrs. Norris’ injury was not due to any negligence on the part of Jorge Soler, the Braves, or anyone affiliated with our organization,” a team spokesperson said on Thursday. “We intend to answer and deny the claims, and immediately move for the court to dismiss the case based on the legal precedent that has clearly and unwaveringly been set not only in Georgia, but across the country.”
However, Norris’ claim may take advantage of apparent limitations to the so-called “baseball rule.”
While fans cannot typically press claims relating to injuries sustained by foul balls, home runs, or lost bats, intentional acts of negligence—like a hard toss into the stands—could result in findings of fault and liability.
Norris’s attorneys say that the Atlanta Braves, Soler, and other defendants “breached their duty [of care]” by “failing to keep the premises in a safe and proper condition,” and by allowing “dangerous and reckless conduct” by Soler.
Norris is seeking compensation for damages as well as reimbursement of her legal fees.