Reigning World Series Champion Kansas City Royals are the latest franchise to announce that they will extend protective netting all the way up the first and third base lines. They are following a recommendation made by Major League Baseball’s commissioner’s office that all 30 teams extend protective netting beyond the typical area directly behind home plate.
The Royal’s netting will extend to the end of each dugout, which will reach first and third base (approximately 90 feet). The Royals along with Phillies, Rays and Cubs have also said they would follow the recommendation. These teams, along with Major League Baseball, are doing the right thing by extending the netting. There have been numerous injuries at various venues, including at Boston’s Fenway Park last summer when a woman was rushed to the emergency room after taking a baseball to the head.
Baseball franchises have protected themselves from civil liability for years by adding a waiver of liability on the back of each of their tickets, stating that by paying for admission into a game they are agreeing to waive any liability to the major league franchises for any injuries that come from flying baseballs, bats etc… Many states, including Illinois, have imposed statutes protecting major league sports teams from civil liability for injuries that could arise from balls flying into the stands and injuring someone. These waivers and statutes have made it virtually impossible for fans to seek compensation for injuries they may have received for these types of accidents. I believe teams have been reluctant to extend netting in the past because they did not want to open the door to future litigation by admitting that the lack of netting created a dangerous atmosphere for fans. Regardless, this is the right move and I believe prevent serious personal injuries to fans that are sitting defenseless to lightening fast line drives and broken bats.
I would like to see all 30 baseball franchises extend their protective netting.
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Fleet Feet, a popular Chicago store for runners to find shoes and other athletic gear, ran a fantastic poll regarding the most dangerous intersections in the city for runners. You can see the complete list by clicking here.
They compiled their results from a previous poll and also asked their social media followers to respond. Here is the list of the 12 most dangerous intersections:
- Roosevelt & Union
- Diversey & Lakeshore
- Kedzie & Logan
- Alleyways (all of them)
- Elston & Irving Park
- Halsted & Fullerton
- Fullerton & Damon
- Ashland & Cortland
- Ardmore & Sheridan
- LaSalle & Clark
- Sangamon & Jackson
- North & Milwaukee
I’m familiar with most of these intersections and have jogged and/or walked through some of them dozens, if not, hundreds of times, and yes they can be dangerous. I believe the LaSalle/Clark Intersection is dangerous for multiple reasons. For one, when heading south on Clark, the far right lane veers off onto LaSalle. For walkers and joggers, there is supposed the be a pedestrian walkway that allows you to cross the street and stay on Clark rather than veer right onto LaSalle. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen vehicles not pay attention and almost hit a pedestrian. The problem is that the white lines outlining the walkway have completely faded. I believe the city needs to re-paint and make more visible for everyone.
If you are a jogger or enjoy walking, make sure you always keep an eye out for your surroundings, especially if you frequent any of the above intersections. It would be nice if the city would look at each of these intersections and consider better cross-walk precautions such as pedestrian stop signs. I am hoping the Fleet Feet forwarded their results to the cities’ department of transportation.
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Multiple media outlets reported recently that based on Takata Company’s faulty airbags, 5 million vehicles are being recalled in the world wide (approximately 2 million in the U.S.). Allegedly moisture can get inside its air bag control computers, causing the power supplies to corrode and fail. If that happens, air bags may not inflate in a crash or they could deploy without a crash.
This recent recall for Takata comes on top of recent 24 million vehicle recall for their faulty airbag inflator. Takata’s inflators can explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister and sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment. At least 11 people have died worldwide from the problem, and 139 injured. This previous recall is the largest of its’ kind in U.S. history. The U.S. safety investigation began in August after NHTSA found 19 complaints from drivers that air bags didn’t inflate in crashes of older Honda Accords.
The automakers affected by the recall include Honda, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Mazda and Volvo. If you own a Honda/Acura SUV, you can look up your vehicle here, starting February 15. Typically, your auto dealer or auto maker will mail you a notice advising you of the recall. I highly recommend doing your own search to see if your vehicle’s air bag needs to be replaced.
Takata and the auto makers are no doubt facing numerous auto defect and product liability lawsuits for injuries. They will also be facing class action lawsuits for the auto defect based on the loss of value the auto owners will see in their vehicles.
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