The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled in a case involving a flying bat at a baseball game. Eight-year-old Tara Sweeney was hit and injured by a flying baseball bat at a minor league game while on a field trip sponsored by the Bettendorf Parks and Recreation Department.
Sweeney’s mother, Cynthia, sued, but the district court ruled a permission slip she’d signed released the city from liability. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled the permission slip did not protect the city from claims of negligence. The court also said the idea there’s an inherent risk in attending a baseball game also didn’t shield the city from liability.
The High Court did however rule that Sweeney didn’t provide enough evidence the city lacked direct supervision of the kids. Justice Mark Cady disagreed, saying a supervisor should have a responsibility to care for the safety of children while at the ballpark, but not from the risks unique to the game.
The judge used a popular baseball poem in his dissent writing: "Just as there was no joy in Mudville the day the mighty Casey struck out, there is no joy on this day around Iowa’s ballparks. The majority has taken a mighty swing at the correct result in this case and missed by a mile."