2-year-old Girl Hit By Foul Ball at Houston Astros Baseball Game Reportedly Sustained Permanent Brain Injury
A young girl hit by a line drive foul ball at a Houston Astros game last May has reportedly experienced a lifelong brain damage injury, according to the attorney representing her family. The two-year-old girl, while watching a game between the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros at Houston’s Minute Maid Park with her grandfather, was suddenly struck in the head by a projectile foul ball off the bat of Chicago Cubs center fielder, Albert Almora Jr.
Attorney Richard Warren Mithoff of the Houston-based Mithoff Law firm announced yesterday that following months of medical tests and procedures doctors have confirmed that the girl has an injury to a part of her brain that is permanent. Said injury makes the young girl susceptible to seizures. Consequently, she is currently on medication to treat those symptoms, and all indications are that she will need to remain on such medication for the remainder of her life.
Though seven months have passed since the incident, the 2-year-old-girl continues to receive treatment for the brain injury. Doctors have not ruled out the possibility that she will begin to display signs of cognitive deficits due to the injuries in the future. According to the Houston Chronicle, doctors liken the brain injury to that of a stroke, with each causing similar effects on the body’s nervous system. The girl sustained a fractured skull, subdural bleeding, brain contusions, and brain edema due to the accident.
At the time of the incident, Cubs player, Albert Almora Jr., was extremely distraught and appeared inconsolable. On a positive note, attorney Mithoff stated publicly that the girl is doing well given the circumstances, and is “able to continue with much of her routine as a girl her age would do.” Mithoff cautioned, however, that the girl’s parents have to remain particularly vigilant for any developing symptoms or complications. Mithoff stated to the Chronicle that the girl “has wonderful parents and is receiving wonderful care. They obviously are concerned, but she is blessed with a family that is doing relatively well, considering everything.”
Following the tragic incident, which affected players and fans alike, many came to question the issue of ballpark safety — particularly protective netting covering seats along the baselines — and if Major League Baseball would respond by instituting greater security measures in an effort to prevent such accidents in the future. The issue of fan safety has been widely discussed and debated within Major League Baseball as well as among sports reporters and pundits for several years.
Since the incident involving the young girl, some stadiums instituted further preventative measures in 2019, although they varied by team and did not universally apply to each organization. In August, in response to the tragedy, the Astros extended the netting at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Protective netting now reaches farther down the left-field and right-field lines to cover more seats and therefore protect more fans. In December, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said that for the 2020 season “all 30 clubs will have netting in place that extends substantially beyond the far end of the dugout.”
A statement issued by the Mithoff Law firm indicated that no legal action against Major League Baseball or the Houston Astros organization is pending at this time.