The family of a boy who suffered a fractured skull and brain damage after being hit with a baseball during the warmup for a Los Angeles Angels game has sued the Angels, claiming negligence on the team’s part.
In 2019, Bryson Galaz, who was then six years old, was walking with his father in the first row of Angel Stadium, where players were mingling with fans more than an hour and half prior to the game, the lawsuit said. Bryson was struck on the side of his head when Keynan Middleton, an Angels pitcher who was warming up on the field, threw a ball at a teammate who missed the catch.
According to Kyle Scott, the family’s lawyer, Bryson was transported immediately to the emergency room in critical condition. He was then transferred to a children’s hospital for monitoring for two and a half days.
According to his family, Bryson has since had trouble paying attention in school and struggles with social interaction. Additionally, medical exams have revealed abnormal brain activity, which raises concerns about his longer-term development of him, especially as school subjects become more complex, said Scott.
“For three days, we didn’t know if my son was going to live or die,” Bryson’s mother, Beatrice Galaz, said in a statement.
“We’re grateful that he pulled through, but since that day he has struggled in school,” she said. “He’s simply not the same.”
In the lawsuit, which was filed this month in Orange county superior court, the family claims the team should have more netting along the sides of the field and that players should not throw balls during warmup sessions in areas where fans could be hit, especially when the team is encouraging fans to arrive early to meet with players.
Scott told the Los Angeles Times that the Angels could have prevented the situation by asking players to throw the ball in such a way that it did not endanger the fans behind them.
“All they had to do was change their formation,” Scott told the outlet. “It’s not unforeseeable that somebody is going to miss a ball, and it’s going to be thrown hard enough to hurt somebody.”
Under the so-called “baseball rule”, which courts typically defer to, fans assume injury risks that may occur as a result of attending a game. However, according to Scott, he does not believe the court should dismiss this case because “this was not a foul ball… It’s not a thrown bat. This is not a risk inherent in the sport of baseball. The game is not going on.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, which reviewed the lawsuit, the family is seeking unspecified damages which include compensation for medical costs, as well as loss of future earnings.
The Angels declined to comment on the litigation.
“No parties have reached out to us regarding this lawsuit,” said an Angels spokesperson, Marie Garvey. “We have only been made aware of this by the media, so we are unable to comment at this time.”
Middleton, who is not a target of the lawsuit, left the Angels as a free agent after the 2020 season when the club declined to offer him a new contract. He is pitching in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ minor league system.
After the incident, Middleton went over to check on a crying Bryson and the team called for help. An Angels official followed up with an email but when the family requested help with medical bills, no one replied, said Scott.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism