My Kid Got Injured Playing Baseball. Who Do I Sue?

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As the sun comes out and the weather warms up, baseball season is in full swing! Baseball, encapsulates the thrill of competition, camaraderie, and athleticism.
Canada Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration
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As the sun comes out and the weather warms up, baseball season is in full swing! Baseball, encapsulates the thrill of competition, camaraderie, and athleticism.

However, amidst the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd, there lies an inherent risk: injuries. Although a non-contact sport, it is no surprise that baseball players are also susceptible to injuries on the field. What do you do when your child gets injured on the field?

In a previous post titled, "My Kid Got Injured Played Hockey. Can I sue Someone? Who?" we discussed the principle of "assumption of risk," which is equally applicable to the game of baseball. Whether or not you're able to sue for your child's injuries depends on whether the injury was an assumed risk of the game.


There is always some level of risk of injury for those who step out onto the field. By participating in a game of baseball, players voluntarily accept the normal risks involved in the sport.

For example, an injury sustained as a result of being hit by a baseball in the usual course of a game would be considered a normal risk. This is known as the principle of "assumption of risk." This principle recognizes that some activities come with inherent dangers, and participants willingly accept these risks when engaging in that activity.

However — a player's "voluntary assumption of risk" is not unlimited. While players are on the field, they are only consenting to the normal risks associated with baseball. Injuries arising from the normal risks involved in a baseball game would likely not attract liability on the part of the injuring party, coach or even league.

In the event of an injury caused by circumstances that are outside the normal risks involved in the game, liability may be established. Based on the circumstances, "a deliberate intention to cause injury or a reckless disregard for the consequences of one's actions in an uncontrolled and undisciplined manner"* will attract civil liability.

The courts have stated that a player does not accept the risk of injury from "conduct that is malicious, out of the ordinary or beyond the bounds of fair play."

For example, a batter intentionally throwing their bat and striking another player. In determining whether a player's conduct falls outside the bounds of fair play, the courts consider several factors including the type of league in which the game was played, the level of play in the league, the applicable rules, and the nature of the game.


Leagues and sports associations will often have codes of conduct to govern a player's actions during a recreational sports game.

Once an injury is found to be malicious or outside the bounds of fair play, several people or parties may be responsible. A personal injury lawyer can assist in determining who is at fault.

While young children may not be held responsible for a criminal offence, they can be held liable in civil court. Coaches and sports organizations also have a duty to prioritize the safety of their players, particularly when dealing with minors.

If a coach has put a player in an unreasonable or dangerous situation they may also be liable.

Sports organizations may similarly be liable by failing to create a safe playing environment if they fail to discipline or enforce their own rules when it comes to dangerous conduct.


Waivers may provide a complete defence to injuries your child sustains. Before a child participates in organized sports like baseball, parents are often required to sign consent forms and waivers. These documents aim to inform parents about the inherent risks associated with the sport and, in some cases, may attempt to limit liability for injuries.

While these waivers can offer some level of protection to sports organizations, their enforceability can vary, especially when it comes to minors. Courts may scrutinize the language of these waivers and consider factors like the child's age, the clarity of the language used, and whether the risks were adequately explained.

While baseball little leagues offer tremendous physical and social benefits to children, safety should remain a top priority. In the unfortunate event of a baseball injury, it is important for parents to understand their rights and to explore available options.

If wrongdoing is suspected, consulting with a personal injury lawyer is crucial to assess the lawsuit's viability and to explore potential compensation for medical expenses and other associated costs.

*Dunn v. University of Ottawa, [1995] OJ No 2856 (QL)

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
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