Appeals court dismisses lawsuit by player injured in slide

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DETROIT (AP) — It's the court system's version of instant replay: After further review, you're out!

The Michigan appeals court overturned a decision and dismissed a lawsuit by a man who broke his right leg while sliding into second base during a softball game in a Detroit suburb.

Robert Ostrowski accused Canton Township and park employees of gross negligence in 2013. He said the base was designed to break away from an anchor during a hard slide, but it didn't pop up and instead felt like a "block of concrete."

"His baseball days are mostly over," said attorney Darryl Eason, who noted that Ostrowski needed surgery and sometimes uses a cane.

Ostrowski claimed the park had allowed too much dirt to build up around the base, preventing its release during his aggressive slide. But he didn't score with that argument.

"The evidence in this case at most suggests that defendants should have taken additional precautions with respect to maintaining the bases. ... It is not sufficient to raise a jury question concerning gross negligence," the appeals court said in a 3-0 opinion released Friday.

Ostrowski lined up expert testimony from Shawn Pender, a Major League Baseball scout and former minor league player.

"I have never seen an injury as significant as Mr. Ostrowski's due to a breakaway bag that was properly installed and maintained," Pender said.


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