Judge's ruling turns softball injury suit into a 1-on-1 game

February 28, 1996|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore County judge has benched some players in a lawsuit filed by an injured softball player, dropping the YMCA, the team's manager, the umpire and the company that provided team T-shirts.

But Circuit Judge Thomas T. Bollinger, in a ruling issued yesterday, left intact second basewoman Jacquelynn C. Stafford's $300,000 suit alleging that Kevin Greenway, who ran into her during a September 1994 playoff game, failed to slide as rules dictate.

Ms. Stafford, who broke a collarbone, alleges intentional battery in her suit.

Mr. Greenway was on first base at the White Marsh YMCA field at 7677 Lillian Holt Drive. There were two outs, and a grounder was hit toward third base. He said he tried to slide into second base, but tripped, falling into Ms. Stafford.

Ms. Stafford alleged in her suit that the YMCA of Central Maryland, which organized the league, didn't do enough to make sure all players knew about the slide rule. Mr. Greenway was a last-minute fill-in on the opposing team.

To protect itself from potential financial loss, the YMCA then sued team manager Patrick Fendick, the umpire, Donald Jackson, and DARC Graphics Inc. of Timonium, which sold the team its T-shirts.

In a pretrial hearing Monday over whether the case should be dismissed, Judge Bollinger found that suit could proceed only against Mr. Greenway, who does not have an attorney. Mr. Greenway did not return calls yesterday.

Lawyers at the hearing representing Mr. Fendick, the YMCA and the umpire cried foul over the suit, saying it was a recreational game in which no one meant to cause harm.

Ms. Stafford's attorney, Philip A. Petty, declined to comment.

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