BOISE -- An afternoon Hawks game ended with one Treasure Valley man in the hospital and now he's suing the organization for the injuries he suffered.
Four years ago, Bud Rountree was hit in the eye by a ball at a Boise Hawks game. His case will soon go to trial.
Rountree and his lawyer Breck Seiniger believe there should have been vertical netting in the area where Rountree was hit. The defendants, collectively called Boise Baseball, say Rountree's injury is not the result of irresponsibility on behalf of the organization.
The incident happened at a game back in August of 2008. Rountree was enjoying the game with his wife and grandkids and had just walked around to an area adjoining the baseball diamond when he was hit by a fly ball.
"I heard some noise and stuff. Then I heard some more commotion, and my head was turned the other way while I was talking," said Rountree. "And as I turned to see what was going on, instantaneously as I turned, the ball, it was an apparent line drive I found out later, hit me directly into the right eye."
The seating area where Rountree was hit has horizontal netting, but no vertical netting on the front.
Rountree said he remembers being knocked back onto the ground and going in and out of consciousness. He said he opened his eyes and saw lots of blood and people all around him. Doctors could not save his right eye, and today he has a prosthetic.
Rountree and his lawyer Breck Seiniger are suing Boise Baseball because they say the lack of netting in that area contributed the loss of Rountree's eye.
Boise Baseball brought in an expert who says netting at Hawks' stadium exceeds industry standards. Furthermore, they say the language on the back of the ticket states Rountree assumed the risk of being hit by a ball. They're also invoking the so-called 'baseball rule,' which limits the liability of team owners for the people watching the game.
Rountree said he wasn't planning on suing, but decided to do so when he saw nothing had changed in the area where he was hit.
"First and foremost I hope they get this resolved and in this area we're talking about get some vertical netting up there and make it a safety factor," said Rountree.
Rountree said he's been to three or four Hawks games since, but his wife won't go back, and he hasn't taken his grand-kids back.
This case will head to a jury trial, although no date has been set.