A Baseball Ticket or a Contract Waiving Your Rights?

July 13, 2021


Brent Eames

Whenever you go to a baseball game, or any other professional sports game, your ticket will contain a lot of fine print which contains many confusing terms and conditions. It should come as no surprise that often times, that ticket can contain some pretty unfavorable terms, including a waiver of your rights to bring a lawsuit in the event you suffer a serious personal injury during your time in the stadium. Recently, the First District Appellate Court in Chicago addressed whether this type of a waiver was enforceable after a person brought suit against Major League Baseball and the Chicago Cubs after being severely injured during a baseball game. Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Brent Eames explains more below:

In August of 2018, the plaintiff sustained serious facial fractures, among other injuries while at a Chicago Cubs home game at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The paper ticket she used to enter the ball game was a gift from her father. Due to her injuries, this plaintiff spent four days in the hospital for treatment.

As a result of her injuries, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against MLB and the Cubs. However, MLB and the Cubs moved to dismiss the lawsuit from the outset, arguing that she had no legal right to sue based upon the contract terms issued on the back of her ticket warning that the Cubs or other entities would not be liable for any injuries. The back of the ticket also directed attendees to the Chicago Cub’s website for full terms and conditions that amounted to a waiver of a patron’s right to resolve a dispute through the court of law. Instead, all injury claims are to be submitted through an arbitrator.

Cook County Circuit Judge Kathy Flanagan ruled against the Cubs and MLB and allowed the lawsuit to stand. Judge Flanagan held that the terms and conditions on the ticket were “procedurally unconscionable” and therefore unenforceable. MLB and the Cubs appealed, but they received the same conclusion by the Appellate Court. The Appellate Court’s opinion addressed the intention behind the use of a baseball ticket as an agreement to an extensive eight-paragraph arbitration provision that could only be accessed by the Cub’s website. The extra step of having to access a site to read the terms of conditions was determined not necessarily easy or practical to read while in the commotion of a baseball stadium. Additionally, the tickets did not specifically mention the waiver of her rights, therefore supporting the conclusion that these terms were procedurally unconscionable. As a result, the injured plaintiff was held to be entitled to her day in court.

The Eames Law Group  is an experienced law firm that guides people who have suffered serious personal injuries. They help residents of Illinois gain their lives back after accidents, by managing medical bills and financial setbacks. Brent Eames is a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer who will help people obtain the appropriate compensation and medical assistance after suffering an injury. For more information, contact us to meet with the Eames Law Group and learn about the legal services they offer.

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