News / Ottawa

Home-plate incident leads to million-dollar lawsuit

Sharlene Bagshaw is suing the Barrhaven Mixed Slo-Pitch League after a home-plate collision left her unable to work

In this Sept. 27, 2006, file photo, Oakland Athletics' Dan Johnson, left, collides with Seattle Mariners' Kenji Johjima at home plate. Starting in the 2014 season =, Major League Baseball began cracking down on home plate collisions.

Kevin P. Casey / AP

In this Sept. 27, 2006, file photo, Oakland Athletics' Dan Johnson, left, collides with Seattle Mariners' Kenji Johjima at home plate. Starting in the 2014 season =, Major League Baseball began cracking down on home plate collisions.

Athletes are often told to “sacrifice the body,” to “take one for the team”  — to put success ahead of personal safety.
At the upper echelons of sport, this is one thing; one imagines that in the Barrhaven Mixed Slo-Pitch League, personal safety can be taken for granted.
Not the case, apparently. A Barrhaven woman has filed a $1-million lawsuit against both the league and an opposing player over a 2015 home-plate collision that she claims has left her unable to work.
The statement of claim alleges that Sharlene Bagshaw was dutifully playing the catcher position when opponent Robert Lambert ignored softball’s standard “safe line” rule, which requires runners barrelling for home must to avoid touching the plate itself and instead cross the plane, perpendicular to the third-base line, that extends between the plate and the backstop. Lambert, the suit alleges, barrelled directly into Bagshaw, knocking her to the ground and causing injury.
Even Major League Baseball has, in recent years, cracked down on such collisons, which used to occur regularly in the professional game.
Bagshaw's statement says that Lambert “carelessly and recklessly placed a greater importance on scoring a run in a recreational game than he did on the plaintiff’s safety and health.”
The league has filed a notice of intent to defend, but Lambert has yet to file a statement of defence.

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