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California man sues Angels after being left permanently blind in one eye by ball allegedly thrown by player



A California man says he was left permanently blind in one eye after being hit in the face with a baseball thrown by former Los Angeles Angels outfielder Juan Lagares during a game last summer. 

Now, he is suing the team and former player, according to a civil complaint filed Tuesday. 

A general view of the Angels logo on a ribbon board during a summer workout in preparation for a shortened MLB season during the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday, July 10, 2020 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

David Mermelstein, 55, alleged in a civil complaint filed in the Orange County Superior Court that on June 22, 2022, Lagares “randomly hurled the ball into the stands at high velocity” after catching the third out in the sixth inning, The Orange County Register reported, citing the complaint. 


The lawsuit says that Mermelstein, who attended the game in an attempt to lift his spirits after the recent passing of his father and his own brain cancer diagnosis, was looking down at the time Lagares threw the souvenir ball into the stands and had looked up just in time to be struck in the face with it.


According to KTLA, the ball crushed Mermelstein’s left eyeball and caused internal fluid from his eye to burst. Despite undergoing surgery, he was left permanently blind in one eye. 

Exterior view of Angels Stadium

General view of the exterior of Angel Stadium before the Round 2 Pool 2 Game between Team Japan and Team Korea in the World Baseball Classic at Angel Stadium on March 15, 2006 in Anaheim, California. ( Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

According to the complaint, Mermelstein now faces the possibility of complete blindness as he already sufferers from a degenerative vision disorder in his right eye. 

The civil complaint argues that Lagares, who is currently a free agent, “had a duty to do so reasonably and safely” when he decided to toss the ball to fans but instead threw the ball in a way that it reached “over the outfield wall, up ten rows and smashed into the eye socket of an unsuspecting fan,” according to The Orange County Register. 

Juan Lagares prepares to take the filed for the Angels against the Yankees

Juan Lagares, #10 of the Los Angeles Angels, gets ready to take the field during the game between the Los Angeles Angels and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, June 2, 2022 in New York. (Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Fans attending MLB games are cautioned that ticket holders accept the risk of injury, but the complaint argues that Mermelstein’s injury was sustained after play had stopped. 

The Angeles did not immediately respond to Fox News Digitals’ attempts for comment. 


Mermelstein is seeking unspecified damages.

Source: Fox News

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