Getty Images/Joe Robbins

Major League Baseball owners are set to discuss the issue of fan safety and the possibility of adding more netting to parks to combat injury due to foul balls during their meeting in Dallas in November.

By SI Wire
October 27, 2015

Major League Baseball owners are set to discuss the issue of fan safety during their meeting in Dallas in November, reports the Associated Press.

The need for such a discussion stems from numerous incidents in which fans have been injured by foul balls this year, leading to a class-action lawsuit being filed against the league.

“We are prepared to have a very detailed presentation and conversation with the owners at the November meeting,” commissioner Rob Manfred said.

The league will decide whether to expand the use of the protective netting currently used behind home plate.

Manfred said that prior to that meeting he will not make any announcement in regards to a new rule being instated or what that rule would be. He added that he feels input from all the clubs is necessary before taking any action.

In July, Gail Payne, an Oakland Athletics season ticket holder, filed a class-action lawsuit seeking to compel the league to install more protective netting at major and minor league ballparks. Last week, Payne filed an amendment to the complaint that details additional alleged injuries due to the lack of protection from foul balls and also adds two more plaintiffs to the case, Fox News reports.

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The revision states that almost 90 injuries have occurred since the lawsuit was initially filed. The amendment also lists the 30 major league teams as defendants.

MLB’s lawyers filed a motion on Oct. 2 asking U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that Payne herself had never been injured by a foul ball and therefore lacked the grounds to sue.

The two new plaintiffs, Robert Gorman and Stephanie Smith, both allege that they have been injured by foul balls. Gorman claims he was hit on the head by a foul ball 15 years ago, and Smith alleges that she was hit by a foul ball at Dodger Stadium in June. She allegedly sustained broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung in the incident.

- Xandria James

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