Residents of Mag sue high school

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Village residents have sued the Magdalena Municipal School Board for foul balls hitting their property.

The residents allege that baseballs, fouled out by batters on the field that is across the street from their home, hit their property with regularity. These errant foul balls prohibit the residents’ rights to a “quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their property” and have made the residents “incur foreseeable damages, pain and suffering and emotional distress,” according to court documents.

The resident, Thomas Key, has been hit several times by these balls, according to the documents. However, he has filed no claim for medical damages. Both Key and his wife, Eleanor, say they are afraid to go outside when the high school team, little league teams, or just members of the community are playing baseball on the field.

In the lawsuit, the Keys allege that the Magdalena School Board knew that foul balls from those playing on the field posed an “unreasonable risk of damage or injury” and did nothing to mitigate that risk, according to court documents. The Keys alerted Superintendent Michael Chambers to the danger in 2008 and again in 2009.

Right now, a setting for the jury trial is not in place and an earlier attempt to settle the complaint out of court with the use of a mediator was unsuccessful, said Kevin Brown, the attorney for the school board.

The field’s first-base line, which runs from home plate straight to the outfield, runs side-by-side to the residential area in which the Keys live. A large, high fence, almost a cage, surrounds the home plate area; the fence drops down to five feet high farther away from home plate. This is a common setup. Players bat live balls out away from the homes towards the mountains.

 

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