The family of a boy whose skull was fractured by a baseball at Angel Stadium three years ago has sued the Angels, claiming the team was negligent by not protecting fans as players warmed up before a game.
Bryson Galaz, then 6 years old, had scampered to the front of the field-level box seats down the third-base line where fans gathered to pursue autographs and photos with players. According to the suit, a ball thrown wildly by pitcher Keynan Middleton struck Bryson in the left side of the head.
“For three days, we didn’t know if my son was going to live or die,” Bryson’s mother, Beatriz Galaz, said in a statement. “We were relieved that he survived, but since that day he has struggled in school. He’s simply not the same.”
Bryson, who lives with his family in Anaheim, is in third grade. The suit seeks unspecified damages, including compensation for medical costs and loss of future earnings.
It is common for players to warm up in the outfield before games. The Angels have not extended protective netting all the way down the foul lines, as some teams have.
Kyle Scott, an attorney representing the Galaz family, said the Angels nonetheless could have protected themselves and their fans simply by asking the players to throw parallel to the third-base line, rather than having a string of players straddle the line, with the stands behind them and throwing partners toward the middle of the outfield.
“All they had to do was change their formation,” Scott said. “It’s not unforeseeable that somebody is going to miss a ball, and it’s going to be thrown hard enough to hurt somebody.”
Courts generally defer to the so-called “Baseball Rule,” under which fans assume the risk of injuries that result from attending a game. Scott said he did not believe the court should throw out this case because of that rule.
“This is not a foul ball,” he said. “It’s not a thrown bat. This is not a risk inherent to the sport of baseball. The game is not going on.”
The suit was filed last Friday in Orange County Superior Court.
“No parties have reached out to us regarding this lawsuit,” Angels spokeswoman Marie Garvey said. “We have only been made aware of this by the media, so we are unable to comment at this time.”
Scott said the Angels had not responded to two letters he sent in 2021, each addressed to an Angel Stadium guest experience manager who had been on duty on the day of the incident. According to that manager’s LinkedIn page, he left the Angels in 2020.