Man takes legal action against former Angels outfielder Juan Lagares after he was blinded by a ‘randomly thrown ball’

David Mermelstein required emergency surgery after he said Angels outfielder Juan Lagares threw a ball into the stands during a game last year that hit him in the left eye.

David Mermelstein required emergency surgery after he said Angels outfielder Juan Lagares threw a ball into the stands during a game last year that hit him in the left eye. (Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A California man filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Angels and former outfielder Juan Lagares this week after Lagares allegedly threw a ball into the stands during a game last summer that hit the man in the face and the blinded.

David Mermelstein filed the lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court on Tuesday, according to the OCRegister. Mermelstein, 55, said he was punched in the face at Angel Stadium last June and the ball crushed his left eyeball and blinded him in that eye.

Mermelstein was at the Angels’ game against the Kansas City Royals on June 22, 2022, with some friends. After Lagares grabbed the third out to end the game’s sixth inning, Mermelstein said he looked down to eat peanuts. Lagares, the lawsuit reads, then turned around and “threw the ball randomly into the stands at high speed.”

Mermelstein, who was seated in the outside stands, heard the crowd screaming around him and looked up to the right as the ball hit him on the left side of his face, according to the lawsuit.

He was immediately taken to a local hospital for emergency surgery, but was left permanently blind in his left eye and “disfigured”. His lawyers said he was at risk of going blind in the future as his left eye was his ‘good eye’ and he still suffered from daily shooting pains.

“He was a man who was already at one of the lowest points of his life,” said his lawyer, Rob Marcereau, who noted that Mermelstein’s father had recently died ahead of last year’s game. , through the OCRegister. “He went to the Angels game to take his mind off things, and what should have been a good time and a diversion for him ended up being one of the most horrific experiences of his life.”

While MLB tickets warn attendees that they assume the risk of being hit by baseballs or bats, Mermelstein argued that Lagares should have “reasonably and safely” returned the souvenir baseball. . Instead, he allegedly ‘threw the ball with such force and speed that it went through the outfield wall, up 10 rows and crashed into the eye socket of an unsuspecting fan’ .

The Angels, according to the lawsuit, “were aware of the increasing danger to fans caused by baseballs entering the bleachers – not just from batted balls, but from balls thrown into the bleachers by players.”

The lawsuit also cited a previously settled lawsuit filed against the Angels by the family of a boy who was hit by a wild pitch during a 2019 game. The 6-year-old suffered a fractured skull after he been hit by a baseball in the stands.

Lagares, 34, is currently a free agent. He spent two seasons with the Angels after an eight-year run with the New York Mets.

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