SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A collegiate summer baseball organization and the city of Marysville are being sued for an on-field incident that left a player with brain injuries, lawyers representing that player said.
“Every expert we have spoken to about field management, you can’t have tripping hazards in the field of play,” attorney Olivier Taillieu said.
Taillieu is the attorney for Akheem Lewis, the player involved in the lawsuit. Back in June, Lewis played for the Palo Alto Oaks against the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox at Hard Rock Park in Marysville.
In a case filed in Sacramento County Superior Court, documents claim Lewis was running to catch a ball in left field when his foot tripped over a mat that was negligently left in the field of play. He fell headfirst into an unpadded fence/wall directly next to the mat.
“It’s a clear tripping hazard, especially for somebody running full speed that is not looking because that is not where he is supposed to look,” Taillieu said.
He said the tripping hazard was a piece of turf, located in foul territory near the concrete wall.
“Concrete isn’t very forgiving. If someone’s head runs into the concrete, the concrete wins every time,” Taillieu said.
The complaint alleges the impact with the wall resulted in a stroke to the right side of the brain and other neurological injuries, which will require lifetime medical care.
“He’s struggling, and it’s going to be pretty significant and a very long recovery,” Taillieu said.
Taillieu said the city of Marysville, which either owns or controls the field, and the Gold Sox YCM baseball group didn’t do enough to protect players.
“The brain controls everything. This type of injury to someone is a life-changing event and it will have repercussions for the rest of his life,” Taillieu said.
FOX40 tried to get in touch with the Gold Sox ownership group but were unsuccessful. The city of Marysville told FOX40 they are aware of the lawsuit but do not comment on litigation.
Read the full complaint below: