Defendants in a lawsuit over an alleged injury on a Coquitlam ball diamond last year have struck back.
In a joint response to a civil claim, the City of Coquitlam, the New Westminster Minor Softball Association, the Coquitlam Minor Softball Association and the B.C. Amateur Softball Association have all denied the allegations in a suit filed by Kristen Evanski.
According to the initial civil claim filed by Evanski on July 30, the incident happened on June 3, 2012, at Mundy Park in Coquitlam when she was a player and coach for a New West team called the Magic.
During the game, the suit claims, while standing in the dugout, a batter for the opposing team hit a line drive that passed the unprotected opening of the dugout on the home-plate side, hitting Evanski on the left side of the head.
Court documents filed on Sept. 26 state that the defendants deny Evanski suffered or continues to suffer injury or loss as alleged.
All four organizations also claim that at all times the softball field at Mundy Park, — including the dugout — was maintained in a condition that was reasonably safe for use by Evanski.
The response further suggested that the plaintiff willingly assumed the risk of injury on her own.
The suit claims Evanski sustained serious injuries as a result of being hit by the ball.
The lawsuit argues that all of the defendants had a duty of care “to ensure the softball field at Mundy Park was a safe venue at which to play league softball games.”
The suit also alleges the city and associations breached their duty of care in several ways, including by designing the dugout with two wide unprotected openings that permitted errant softballs to enter the dugout, by failing to install a gate or guard or protective device at the openings of the dugout and by failing to warn participants that softballs batted from home plate could enter the dugout and travel lengthwise.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and none of the other parties have filed a response.
The response by the defendants goes on to state the plaintiff was well aware of the risk that a ball could leave the playing field at a high rate of speed.
According to court documents, the city and softball associations suggest the ball player was negligent for several reasons, including by failing to exercise reasonable care for her safety, failing to maintain proper lookout and failing to sit in the protected area of the dugout.
In the civil claim, Evanski is described as being a Burnaby resident who graduated from Burnaby Mountain Secondary in 2005.
The original claim states she suffered serious injuries that include concussion, dizziness, blurred vision, depression and a split muscle near her left eyebrow, among others
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