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South Shore Baseball, LLC v. DeJesus

Supreme Court of Indiana

June 27, 2014

SOUTH SHORE BASEBALL, LLC D/B/A GARY SOUTH SHORE RAILCATS AND NORTHWEST SPORTS VENTURE, LLC, Appellants (Defendants below),
v.
JUANITA DEJESUS, Appellee (Plaintiff below)

Appeal from the Lake Superior Court, No. 45D02-0911-CT-251. The Honorable Calvin Hawkins, Judge. On Petition to Transfer from the Indiana Court of Appeals, No. 45A03-1205-CT-222.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: James R. Branit, Mitchell H. Frazen, Nicholas J. Parolisi, Jr., Chicago, Illinois.

ATTORNEYS FOR AMICUS CURIAE INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS: Andrew B. Janutolo, R.D. Zink, Indianapolis, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Walter J. Alvarez, Duke T. Escue, David A. Wilson, Crown Point, Indiana; Robert F. Peters, Merrillville, Indiana.

Massa, Justice. Dickson, C.J., and Rucker, David, and Rush, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 904

Massa, Justice.

" It's hard not to be romantic about baseball." [1] But are stadiums and franchises, by virtue of baseball's status as our national pastime, governed not by our standard principles of premises liability but rather entitled to a special limited-duty rule? We think not. Nevertheless, we find the defendant

Page 905

in this case is entitled to summary judgment, so we reverse the trial court.

Facts and Procedural History

On May 23, 2009, Juanita DeJesus, a fan of the minor-league baseball team South Shore RailCats, attended the team's opening day game at their home stadium, the U.S. Steelyard in Gary, Indiana. DeJesus had obtained two tickets from her friend Margie Comacho. On the back of the ticket, the following text was printed:

This ticket is a revocable license. Admission may be refused or ticket holder rejected at the sole discretion of South Shore Baseball, LLC (the Gary South Shore RailCats). The Gary South Shore RailCats may refuse admission to, or eject, any ticket holder without refund if the holder fails to comply with these terms, is deemed to be acting in a disorderly manner, or does otherwise not comply with Stadium, game day and Gary South Shore RailCats policies. The ticket holder assumes all risks incident to the game or related events to which this ticket admits holder; including risk of loss, stolen or damaged property, and personal injury.

App. at 76, Tr. at 4-5. There was also a provision stating " No refunds or exchanges. This ticket may not be transferred or resold." App. at 138-41, 165. Finally, there was a warning that cautioned spectators about " the danger of being injured by . . ...


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