Court to decide lawsuit of Indians fan hit in face with foul ball

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CLEVELAND — A trial court must decide if a fan hit by a foul ball at a Cleveland Indians game was forced to leave his seat for an after-game fireworks show or whether he moved into the ball's path on his own.

The Eighth District Court of Appeals on Thursday reversed a Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court decision that used a baseball rule which bars injury claims against teams to clear the Indians of Keith Rawlins' negligence claim.

Rawlins attended a July 2012 game where signs indicated the fire department required some sections to be cleared at the game's conclusion.

Rawlins says an usher ordered him to leave before the game ended and it was the team's fault that he was struck by a foul ball.

Rawlins said the ball fractured his eye socket, nose and sinus.

He underwent 10 hours of surgery at MetroHealth Medical center and racked up almost $50,000 dollars in medical bills.

Rawlins said the Indians offered him a family fan pack.

The Indians contend that Rawlins voluntarily left.

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