A judge ruled Thursday that baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, his predecessor, Bud Selig, and his top deputy, Dan Halem, are to be deposed by April 3 in a lawsuit over injuries a fan suffered three years ago when he was hit in the head by a foul ball at Wrigley Field.
The negligence suit against Major League Baseball alleges that MLB failed to take proper action to protect fans after conducting a 2015 review of safety in the stands regarding foul balls and thrown and broken bats.
Manfred, who succeeded Selig in 2015, has never officially mandated safety netting guidelines, but he did recommend extensions of the netting to the near ends of the dugouts by 2016. All 30 teams had extended netting to the far ends of the dugouts by 2018.
The plaintiff, Jay Loos, now 62, lost the sight in his left eye and suffered multiple facial fractures.
He was seated along the first-base line for a Pirates-Cubs game on Aug. 29, 2017, when the foul ball struck him.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Melissa Durkin denied a motion by MLB in opposition to the depositions sought by Loos. MLB argued that no commissioner has ever been deposed in such a case.
Contacted by ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Thursday evening, both a spokesman for MLB and the attorney for Loos declined to comment.
MLB announced in December that all 30 teams would have netting extending beyond the far ends of the dugouts for 2020 and some would have it extend to both foul poles, as is the case in Japan