Bill Rankin's Legal Brief

The AJC's blog about the courts, crime and law

Foul ball lawsuit turns focus on MLB, steroids

When the foul ball rocketed into the stands, Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons couldn't look. Instead, he turned away and buried his head in his hands several times during the ensuing delay.

The foul ball, hit during a July 6 game at Miller Park in Milwaukee, struck spectator Laura Turek just above her left eye. Her daughter has said that doctors needed 80 stitches and two titanium plates to just begin repairing the damage.

"When a ball is hit that hard into a crowded area, chances are

somebody is going to get hit," Simmons, who is no longer a Brave, told the Associated Press after the game.

"Man, sometimes you wish the net was bigger and covered the people that don't have a chance to react," Simmons said. "I wouldn't sit that close."

Turek's injury was one of several last year that apparently prompted Major League Baseball to say it will soon recommend that safety netting at ballparks be extended next season.

Ongoing litigation in Atlanta says the Braves and MLB should pay damages to a girl whose skull was shattered by a foul ball at Turner Field because safety netting had not been erected before the 2010 game. For an update on the lawsuit, please read our story on


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Bill Rankin covers criminal justice for the Enterprise team.