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Law School Case Brief

Schentzel v. Phila. Nat'l League Club - 173 Pa. Super. 179, 96 A.2d 181 (1953)


Negligence is the doing of that which a reasonably prudent man would not do under the circumstances, or the failing to do that which a reasonably prudent man would do under the circumstances. It is never presumed, and the burden of proving it is on the plaintiff. To recover in a negligence action, a plaintiff must prove: (1) a legal duty owing to him by defendant; (2) an unintentional breach of that duty by careless conduct; (3) a causal connection between defendant's conduct and plaintiff's injury. Furthermore, the plaintiff's case must not disclose that he voluntarily assumed the risk or was guilty of contributory negligence. The mere happening of an accident is no evidence of negligence.


Plaintiff’s husband bought tickets to see a game at defendant baseball club's stadium. To his surprise, they were seated about 15 feet away from the screen. Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff was injured when she was struck by a baseball.Plaintiff filed a trespass action against the defendant baseball club for personal injuries sustained at the baseball game. The trial court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, and defendant appealed.


Is the defendant baseball club liable for injuries sustained by plaintiff while watching a baseball game?




The court reversed and entered judgment for the baseball club. The court held that the injured assumed the risk of being struck by a ball, a normal and ordinary risk at a baseball game, by her attendance. The court found that the baseball club did not have the duty to warn each and every patron of the dangers inherent in attending a game because those dangers were so well known that they allowed courts to presume knowledge of the dangers by everyone unless shown otherwise.

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