The tragic death of Ranger fan at last night’s baseball game has left a young boy and his mother without their father and husband and raises questions about fan safety.
Shannon Stone, a 39-year-old firefighter from Brownwood, Texas, flipped over the railing of the outfield seats while trying to catch a ball. His six-year-old son, who was sitting next to him, watched as his father fell approximately 20 feet to a concrete surface below. He died later after being rushed to the hospital.
This is the second wrongful death in MLB ballparks this year and is eerily similar to a fall at the Ballpark at Arlington last year. The man who fell from the stands last year miraculously survived but sustained serious injuries.
This heartbreaking death will undoubtedly lead to questions about ballpark safety and why there was no net in place in the event of a fall, especially considering there have been other instances around the league and even in Arlington.
Although the barriers at the stadium were said to have met city codes, questions must be asked as to why there was no net in place in such a high risk area of the field. Catching foul balls and home runs is a tradition as old as baseball itself. Realizing this, teams have a responsibility to protect their fans and do everything they can to ensure accidents such as this do not happen in the future.
Premise liability attorneys will agree, with a second fatal fall in MLB stadiums and a second fall at the Rangers stadium it certainly seems as though it is time to conduct a thorough review of the measures being taken to ensure safety of our fans as they enjoy America’s Pastime.