Nothing But Net: Pittsburgh Pirates’ Net Installer’s Motion for Summary Judgment Denied

On October 9, 2018, Judge Michael Della Vecchia denied Promats Athletics LLC’s motion for summary judgment seeking removal from a foul ball injury lawsuit.

Back in 2015, spectator Wendy Camlin suffered injuries as a result of being struck in the head by a foul ball that deflected from the netting. Accordingly, when she filed suit against Major League Baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the city and county entity that built the stadium, the Pirates joined Promats to the suit, alleging Promats recommended and installed the netting at issue.

While Camlin ultimately dropped the charges against MLB, Promats has not had the same fortune smile upon it. In response to Promats’ motion for summary judgment, Judge Della Vecchia questioned the adequacy of installation of the netting, indicating that teams could always adjust the tautness of the net to ensure protection. Notably, the Pirates pointed out that no instruction was given to Promats regarding how tight to make the net – rather, it was the Promats installers who set the tension.

As there remains a genuine dispute as to a material fact – whether Promats’ installation of the net indeed may prove responsible for Camlin’s injuries – the motion for summary judgment was denied. For Promats and the rest of the parties, trial is currently scheduled for November 14.

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