Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff, David Manning, was a fan at a baseball game when he was struck by a ball thrown by Defendant-employee, Ross Grimsley, while playing for Defendant-employer, Baltimore Baseball Club, Inc.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. An employer is liable for damages resulting from an assault by an employee when the assault was in response to a plaintiff’s interference of the employee’s duties.
Issue. The issue is whether the Baltimore Baseball Club could be liable for Grimsley’s pitch into the stands.
Held. The court reversed the trial judge’s directed verdict for the Club because the Club could be held liable for Grimsley’s actions. An employer is liable when an employee assaults a third party in response to the third party’s interference of the employee’s duties. It could be possible that a jury would interpret Grimsley’s actions as an attempt to rid the hecklers so he could pitch more effectively.
What must be shown is that the employee's assault was in response to the plaintiff's conduct which was presently interfering with the employee's ability to perform his duties successfully.View Full Point of Law