A California man says he was left permanently blind in one eye after being hit in the face with a baseball thrown by former Los Angeles Angels outfielder Juan Lagares during a game last summer.
Now, he is suing the team and former player, according to a civil complaint filed Tuesday.
David Mermelstein, 55, alleged in a civil complaint filed in the Orange County Superior Court that on June 22, 2022, Lagares “randomly hurled the ball into the stands at high velocity” after catching the third out in the sixth inning, The Orange County Register reported, citing the complaint.
The lawsuit says that Mermelstein, who attended the game in an attempt to lift his spirits after the recent passing of his father and his own brain cancer diagnosis, was looking down at the time Lagares threw the souvenir ball into the stands and had looked up just in time to be struck in the face with it.
According to KTLA, the ball crushed Mermelstein’s left eyeball and caused internal fluid from his eye to burst. Despite undergoing surgery, he was left permanently blind in one eye.
According to the complaint, Mermelstein now faces the possibility of complete blindness as he already sufferers from a degenerative vision disorder in his right eye.
The civil complaint argues that Lagares, who is currently a free agent, “had a duty to do so reasonably and safely” when he decided to toss the ball to fans but instead threw the ball in a way that it reached “over the outfield wall, up ten rows and smashed into the eye socket of an unsuspecting fan,” according to The Orange County Register.
Fans attending MLB games are cautioned that ticket holders accept the risk of injury, but the complaint argues that Mermelstein’s injury was sustained after play had stopped.
The Angeles did not immediately respond to Fox News Digitals’ attempts for comment.
Mermelstein is seeking unspecified damages.