ANAHEIM, Calif. — A man who claims he was blinded in his left eye after he was hit by a baseball thrown into the stands by a Los Angeles Angels outfielder is now suing the team and the former Angels player.
A lawsuit filed Tuesday claimed that David Mermelstein’s left eye was crushed when he was hit in the face by a ball at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, according to the OC Register. The lawsuit claimed that former Angels outfield Juan Lagares was the one who threw the ball.
The lawsuit claimed that Lagares “randomly hurled the ball into the stands at high velocity,” the news outlet reported.
The incident happened during the sixth inning after Lagares caught the third out, according to the newspaper.
Mermelstein, 55, was sitting in the outfield bleachers during the game. The lawsuit claimed that he looked down at some peanuts he was eating and when he looked up the ball was coming towards his face, according to KTLA. However, he was unable to avoid the ball, and his eyeball was crushed, the globe had ruptured and caused internal fluid from his eye to burst.
Mermelstein had surgery but was left permanently blinded in his left eye, he says in the lawsuit.
Mermelstein said he attended the game on June 22, 2022, to take his mind off of things since the passing of his father, a Holocaust survivor, and his recent brain cancer diagnosis, according to the civil complaint obtained by KTLA.
He is seeking unspecified damages, according to the news outlet.
The lawsuit mentioned an incident in 2019 at Angels stadium where a 6-year-old boy was hit in the head by a ball during pre-game workouts, KTLA reported. The boy had a traumatic injury as a result. The boy’s family filed a lawsuit against the team last year.
Representatives for the Angeles declined to comment to the OC Register due to ongoing litigation.