Call us: 1.800.522.0216


Dallas Injury Lawyer Frank Branson Discusses Sports Stadium Injuries

In this interview with the Phil Hulett and Friends show, Dallas sports stadium injury lawyer Frank L. Branson talks with host Phil Hulett about recent incidents involving sports fans suffering severe and fatal injuries from falls at ballparks, arenas and stadiums.

On September 13, 2015, a Denver Broncos fan fell over a railing at Sports Authority Field and suffered serious injuries. The man was reportedly intoxicated and trying to retrieve a hat. On August 29, 2015, a man died when he fell off the upper deck and died during a Atlanta Braves v NY Yankees game at Turner Field in Atlanta. Another fan died at this same ballpark after falling from the upper deck in 2008.

Other recent notable sports injuries involving fans being injured by errant balls and flying debris include:

  • Parts of a broken maple bat hit Susan Rhodes in the face on April 25, 2008 at Dodger Stadium, breaking her jaw. She sued the team and bat maker Rawlings, though eventually dropped the suit. The league put new rules in place about the use of maple bats, which were breaking about once a game in 2008.
  • A foul ball struck Wendy Whitehead, 39, in the temple during a San Angelo Colts game in 2010. She died a day later.
  • Shannon Stone, 39, died in 2011 while reaching for a foul ball during a Texas Rangers game.
  • In April, a Chicago Cubs fan was injured when rookie Addison Russell lost control of his bat. It slipped out of his hands, sending it into the stands. The fan was later taken to a hospital for treatment.


  • Brittanie Cecil, 13, died March 18, 2002, two days after getting struck in the head with a puck when the Calgary Flames visited the Columbus Blue Jackets. Her death led to the league adding netting at both ends of the ice for another layer of protection for fans.
  • Gerald Green was hit in the head with a puck last May when the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the Minnesota Wild. 
  • Despite sitting behind a safety net, Patricia Higgins got struck in the face when the Blackhawks hosted the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2013. 

Auto racing

  • Three fans were killed after a crash in the 1998 US 500 at Michigan International Speedway. Six others sustained injuries. Exceeding 200 mph, Adrian Fernandez slammed into the wall, sending his right front wheel over the fences and into the stands.
  • Three fans were killed after a tire and other debris shot into the stands during the 1999 VisionAire 500K at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Eight others were injured. After the deaths, the race was canceled and no longer included in the Indy Racing League.
  • Seven spectators were injured during the 2009 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Carl Edwards’s car flipped into the catchfence, causing the injuries.
  • About 30 fans were injured at Daytona International Speedway in 2013 during the Nationwide Series race. Ryan Larson and his car went flying into the catchfence after Regan Smith tried to block Brad Keselowski. Among other debris that was catapulted into the stands, a tire from the car landed nine rows back.

Branson is the founder of The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson, a Dallas-based law firm with a reputation for courtroom excellence based on significant verdicts and settlements for clients in high-stakes personal injury cases and business disputes. The firm’s record verdicts and recoveries stem from cases involving trucking and transportation injuries, product liability, construction accidents, commercial plane crashes, explosions and burns caused by gas and electric power utilities, medical negligence, workplace catastrophes andprofessional negligence and business torts.