ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – With eight games remaining in the Isotopes season, team management faces a challenge off the field and in the courtroom.
The lawyer for a Santa Fe woman who claims a foul ball hit her hand during a 2014 season game filed a lawsuit against the team Wednesday.
She wants an unknown amount in damages for medical expenses and other costs following the injury.
“Her hand was in front of her face. When it hit her hand, she was wearing a ring that I think had to be cut off of her hand. It hit her that hard,” her attorney, Scott Voorhees said.
The lawsuit states in August 2014, Shirley Saccoccia and her husband sat somewhere along the third-base line, which at the time was not protected by netting.
She was “in the process of putting some pieces of popcorn in her mouth when her hand was violently struck by a ball.”
She blames the team’s “negligence” in failing to have protective seating and not warning fans of possible dangers, according to the lawsuit.
“The ballpark is very, very safe. This is no reason for anybody to be alarmed by any stretch,” Isotopes General Manager John Traub said.
The city extended the netting from behind home plate past the dugouts mid-season in 2016.
“Not every team did it, not every stadium did it,” Traub said about the MLB’s recommendation nationwide. “In fact, when we put the new net up, we heard about it from some of our fans and our longtime season ticket-holders that weren’t happy about it because it interfered with their ability to potentially catch foul balls.”
Saccoccia’s lawyer said the extension is not enough to remedy his client’s case.
“I think the Isotopes are responsible for the stadium since they’re leasing it,” Voorhees said. “You can’t really rely on remedial measures taken after an incident has happened.”
Traub stated he just wants fans to enjoy the rest of the season.
“Like I say and we’ve always said here since we started, people need to pay attention and that’s why we make the announcements,” he said. “That’s why it’s on tickets, that’s why it’s on signage all around the ballpark.”