During the 2021 MLB World Series, now-former Atlanta Braves outfielder Jorge Soler threw a ball into the stands in between innings. The ball reportedly hit a woman in the face, and now Soler is being sued over it.
The woman is Mayra Norris, who attended Game 3 with her husband and brother-in-law, according to CBS Sports. According to the lawsuit Norris filed in Cobb County Superior Court on Oct. 25, Soler tossed a ball into the stands before the start of the fifth inning, and the ball hit Norris in the eye. As a result, Norris sustained multiple fractures, right eye edema, and an infra-orbital abrasion — all of which require long-term care, according to the suit.
According to the lawsuit, "Defendant Soler did not softly toss the ball into the stands to the crowd. He threw the ball overhand, with a great deal of speed and force. Defendant Soler threw the ball with such force and speed that it hit Ms. Norris directly in her right eye causing extensive and excruciating injury to her right eye."
Norris is seeking compensatory damages from both Soler and the Braves, who the lawsuit states "failed to keep fans safe" and allowed "dangerous and reckless" behavior by Soler.
It will be interesting to see how this lawsuit plays out for both Soler — the 2021 World Series MVP who signed with the Miami Marlins in 2022 — and the Braves. MLB teams and stadiums are supposed to "maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition" while games are going on. But the fact that this incident occurred between innings — when there should be fewer safety hazards — makes the incident more difficult to decipher from a legal perspective. Regardless, one would expect some sort of settlement to be sorted out between Norris, Soler and the Braves.
Hopefully, this unfortunate incident serves as a reminder for all MLB players that chucking a ball into the stands isn't the best idea. Perhaps it's best for all parties if MLB players keep their games of catch between themselves.
If they absolutely must throw a ball into the crowd, they should do so under-handed.
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