Grow: Upper-deck fan safety questioned in new MLB lawsuit

From SABR member Nathaniel Grow at FanGraphs on April 22, 2016:

Major League Baseball stadiums have been the site of a series of unfortunate accidents in recent years in which fans seated in the upper deck have toppled over the safety railing and fallen dozens of feet onto the concourse below. The most infamous of these incidents occurred in 2011, when Texas Rangers fan Shannon Stone fell to his death while reaching over the upper-deck guardrail to try to catch a ball tossed into the stands by Josh Hamilton.

Although not as highly publicized, Atlanta’s Turner Field has rather shockingly been the site of three such fatal falls in just the last eight years alone. Most recently, in August 2015, Gregory Murrey fell over a guardrail to his death after losing his balance when standing up from his second row, upper-deck seat.

In a new lawsuit filed on Tuesday, Murrey’s family seeks to hold the Braves legally accountable for his death, arguing that the team failed to take the basic precautions necessary to protect fans from injury in the upper deck. In particular, the suit contends that had the safety railing at Turner Field been installed at a more appropriate height, Murrey’s unnecessary death could have been avoided.

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Originally published: April 22, 2016. Last Updated: April 22, 2016.