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Fan sues Reds claiming she was hit in face by foul ball

Liberty Township woman says team didn't protect her
Posted: 12:23 AM, Aug 28, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-28 03:06:18-04
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CINCINNATI — A Reds fan is suing the team claiming she was hit in the face by a foul ball during a 2017 game at Great American Ball Park.

Kimberlee Slusher of Liberty Township and her husband David Slusher say the team should have done more to protect fans.

The suit doesn't say where Slusher was sitting when the Reds played the Pirates on Aug. 25, 2017, but it does says she wasn't sitting behind protective netting. And it notes that a month later the Reds announced they would extend the netting for the 2018 season.

Fine print on the back of Reds tickets says fans accept the risk of injury and agree to settle disputes by arbitration.

The Reds had no comment on the lawsuit Tuesday night. "Thank you for the opportunity, but we do not comment on matters of litigation," Rob Butcher, VP of Media Relations, told WCPO.

READ the lawsuit here.

The suit says Slusher suffered a concussion, lost teeth resulting in surgery, a sprained hip, headaches and "severe and permanent injuries."

Fans have always been injured by balls and bats flying into the stands at major league games. A 2014 analysis by Bloomberg found 1,750 fans were injured that year.

But recent serious injuries, especially to children - and the anguished reactions on the faces of players and fans alike - have prompted calls for more protection.

The Reds announced on Sept. 21, 2017 that they would extend the netting to the far ends of the dugouts before Opening Day 2018. That was a day after a foul ball by former Red Todd Frazier caused a gruesome injury to a child at Yankee Stadium.

A few months later, MLB required all teams to do the same.

According to Reds.com, current netting at Great American Ball Park goes one section past the dugouts.

Some teams have extended the netting farther down the base lines.

The Major League Baseball Players Association proposed netting to the foul poles in 2007 and 2012, but some fans object to watching the game through netting, and MLB hasn't acted on the players' recommendation.

The Slushers' suit also names Hamilton County, the stadium designers and builders, and her medical and dental insurers.

READ more about the netting issue.