Baseball Spectator Strikes Out Against Architect

A spectator hit by a foul ball during a Mets game decided to sue for damages, and his suit included the architects of Citi Field as defendants. He was sitting inside a luxury box, with the window open, when hit by the errant ball. (Unfortunately for baseball fans, none of the critical information – batter, opposing team, or score – is identified.) The case is Tarantino v. Queens Ballpark Company, LLC, et al., 2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 9035 (App. Div., 2d Dept., Dec. 31, 2014). Per the NY Appellate Division, the spectator/plaintiff has struck out. The duty of care imposed on ballparks requires protection for spectators behind home plate “where the danger of being struck by a ball is the greatest”, and the plaintiff’s position in a luxury box did not place him in such an area. The defendants had met their duty of care by designing and installing screens to protect those who are behind home plate at the field level. Thus, motions by the architects (as well as other defendants) to dismiss the lawsuit against them were all allowed. Further, the spectator/plaintiff’s proposed amended complaint, to try to get around the infirmities of his original complaint, “was palpably insufficient and patently devoid of merit,” per the court. Turns out he wasn’t even behind home plate.