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Old Sun Jun 25, 2017, 09:07pm
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Umpire worried about lawsuit?

Recently in a college age summer league game, we had an umpire call a game due to the field being unfit for play. It had rained the night before, we spent the entire day getting the field ready. Game time was at 330 pm and it was 85 degrees and sunny outside. We played two complete innings, top of the third our pitcher went to the ground to get out of the way of a third basemen making a throw from a bunt. Umpire thought he had slipped since grass was still wet in spots from night bedore. Thus, he declared field unplayable. After questioning him his main complaint was he didn't want to get sued because he sees umpires getting sued all the time from players getting hurt on wet fields.

HAS ANYONE HEARD OF/SEEN/DEALT WITH THIS SITUATION BEFORE AND/OR ACTUALLY SEEN A SUCCESSFUL LAWSUIT FROM SOMETHING LIKE THIS?
Thank you in advance for your input.
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Old Sun Jun 25, 2017, 09:18pm
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Originally Posted by Ncbaseballfan View Post
Recently in a college age summer league game, we had an umpire call a game due to the field being unfit for play. It had rained the night before, we spent the entire day getting the field ready. Game time was at 330 pm and it was 85 degrees and sunny outside. We played two complete innings, top of the third our pitcher went to the ground to get out of the way of a third basemen making a throw from a bunt. Umpire thought he had slipped since grass was still wet in spots from night bedore. Thus, he declared field unplayable. After questioning him his main complaint was he didn't want to get sued because he sees umpires getting sued all the time from players getting hurt on wet fields.

HAS ANYONE HEARD OF/SEEN/DEALT WITH THIS SITUATION BEFORE AND/OR ACTUALLY SEEN A SUCCESSFUL LAWSUIT FROM SOMETHING LIKE THIS?
Thank you in advance for your input.
I've ruled fields unplayable in the past.

It's all his judgment, though, and his decision to make.

I've never seen anyone hit by lightning and I'm the first one to clear the fields when I see lightning or hear thunder.
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Old Mon Jun 26, 2017, 06:26am
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Certainly not arguing that it wasn't his call, however I have seen leagues put that decison on the home team into their by laws to take it out of the umpires hands. Just wondering if this umpires concern about a lawsuit is fruitless or if it has actually occurred before?
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Old Mon Jun 26, 2017, 06:31am
LRZ LRZ is offline
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Plaintiffs typically sue everyone at all involved. Even if an umpire would defend against a suit successfully, the cost of defending is itself onerous.
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Old Mon Jun 26, 2017, 07:03am
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Umpire worried about lawsuit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ncbaseballfan View Post
Certainly not arguing that it wasn't his call, however I have seen leagues put that decison on the home team into their by laws to take it out of the umpires hands. Just wondering if this umpires concern about a lawsuit is fruitless or if it has actually occurred before?


It's in the hands of the home team prior to the game starting. I would never accept an assignment where I wasn't in control of this decision after the game begins.

(Corrected. Thanks Bob.)
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Old Mon Jun 26, 2017, 07:29am
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It's in the hands of the umpires prior to the game starting. I would never accept an assignment where I wasn't in control of this decision after the game begins.
I think you mean "home team." And, I agree.
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Old Mon Jun 26, 2017, 10:07am
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Plaintiffs typically sue everyone at all involved. Even if an umpire would defend against a suit successfully, the cost of defending is itself onerous.
If you have insurance the insurance company pays the lawyers. If they don't you have the wrong insurance company.
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Old Mon Jun 26, 2017, 10:24am
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If you have insurance the insurance company pays the lawyers. If they don't you have the wrong insurance company.

I agree with you, but the insurance company is obligated to defend you as long as you followed the rules.

EXAMPLE: NFHS Baseball Rules state that F2 must wear a HSM but neither team has a HSM for their F2s to wear and the HCs further state that the umpires at their previous games said it was okay for their F2s to wear a batting helmet without earflaps with a mask. The HP (the UIC for the game) agrees (over the objections of his BU) to allow the F2s to wear such a combination because he does not want to be thought of as an OOO. During the game the Batter, on his follow through, strikes the F2's ear with the end of his bat. F2 suffers irreversible brain damage. Both umpires are sued by F2's parents. 1) The umpires' liability insurance is null and void because they knowingly did not enforce a safety rule. 2) The BU is equally guilty of negligence as the PU because he continued to umpire the game rather than leave the field immediately.

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