Quentin gets hit by pitch, Quentin charges Greinke on the mound, Greinke breaks collarbone in brawl – any liability, damages, defenses . . . you decide

Just pondering – not a full or legal evaluation of course – sort of like a bar exam question – in MLB Padre hitter Quentin and Dodger pitcher Greinke have a history and Quentin has been hit by Greinke pitches before – in the current game Quentin is batting and Greinke is pitching – Greinke hits Quentin with a pitch – Quentin believes that Greinke is throwing at him or at least intentionally pitching close – Quentin reacts to the hit and charges the Greinke on the mound – Quentin hits or slams into Greinke – benches empty and players scuffle at the mound – Greinke suffers a broken collarbone.  Click Here For Story And Video.

Here are some thoughts and questions.  Not exhaustive.

Is there liability against Greinke and possibly against his employer the Dodgers for hitting Quentin with a pitch, what are Quentin’s injuries or damages if any, and are there defenses to any possible liability?  Negligent hit, risky intentional close pitch, or possible intentional hit?  Being hit by a pitch – whether simply a badly thrown pitch, possibly risky brush back, or intentional – simply part of the game – assumption of the risk?  If it is believed that the pitch was risky or intentional, is there any employer liability for possible risky or intentional act of employee?

Is there liability for Greinke’s broken collarbone?  What is the evidence indicating who or what caused the break (a lot of players from both teams charged or gathered around the mound)?  What does the video show?  Fights or charging the mound or the pitcher – just part of the game, especially when a batter gets hit by a pitch – assumption of the risk?  If Quentin’s slam on Greinke caused the break – does it matter that no evidence will indicate that Quentin intended to break Greinke’s collarbone.  Does it matter if Quentin was provoked into his action by Greinke’s pitch?  If Quentin caused the break, or if any Padre player caused the break, are the Padres possibly liable as the employer?  Do the Dodgers also have a claim for damages that result to them from not having the use of their pitcher for 4-6 weeks as the broken collarbone heals?

Are some or all of these issues already separately addressed by the baseball owners’/players’ collective bargaining agreement, or some other agreement, rule or regulation?

Enjoy, Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco)

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