Martha was an elderly lady who enjoyed going to baseball games.

Unfortunately, she went to a doubleheader one afternoon and returned home feeling like she had two heads.

A flyball landed in her box and it seemed like the entire stadium of fans poured into her box after the ball.

Flattened under the onslaught of fans, Martha sued the baseball team for the multiple injuries she received.

"While the ushers were busy protecting the field," Martha charged in court, "I was being stomped upon like a cluster of grapes in a winery barrel. Surely, I was was entitled to as much protection as a blade of grass."

"Fans chasing after balls hit into the stands," responded a representative of the team, "is as normal as putting mustard on a hot dog. And, if a fan is trampled by other aggressive fans seeking to recover a ball, it's a risk known to and assumed by all fans attending a baseball game."

IF YOU WERE THE JUDGE ...

Would you require the team to pay Martha damages for her injuries?

THIS IS HOW THE JUDGE RULED ...

YES!

The judge held that a patron of a game does not assume the risk of injury from the extreme roughhousing of fans scrambling after a ball.

To the contrary, noted the judge, patrons may assume the team has fulfilled its obligation to take precautions to curb such actions. Instead of stationing the ushers to protect the playing field, concluded the judge, they should be stationed to protect the fans.

Based on a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision.

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