• Kyodo


The Sapporo District Court on Thursday ordered professional baseball team the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and two other parties to pay around ¥41.9 million (about $350,000) in damages to a female spectator for failing to shield her from a foul ball.

The woman in her 30s sued the team, Sapporo Dome Co. and Sapporo city for their failure to prevent her from being hit by the foul ball, which resulted in her losing sight in her right eye, while she was in the infield stands during a game at Sapporo Dome in Hokkaido on Aug. 21, 2010.

Presiding Judge Yasuhiro Hasegawa noted that the fence for the infield stands at the stadium failed to shield the spectator from the foul ball. “The stadium equipment fell short of preventing danger.”

The team argued that spectators could avoid foul balls by paying attention and is considering appealing the verdict.

Before the incident, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and the other parties took sufficient measures, using large television panels and the public-address system to call attention to foul balls, the team said.

The woman had demanded ¥46.5 million in damages.

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