Former New York Yankees outfielder Dustin Fowler is suing the Chicago White Sox and the state agency that manages Guaranteed Rate Field after suffering a season-ending injury in his major league debut at the ballpark on June 29.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, Fowler filed the suit in Cook County Circuit Court on Friday. The lawsuit claims that the White Sox and the agency were negligent in not securing the unpadded electrical box that sits knee-level along the right field line. Fowler suffered a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee when he collided with the box while attempting to chase down a fly ball.
The lawsuit describes the electrical box’s position as “in a manner so as to create a hidden and undetectable hazard” while accusing the defendants of showing “an utter indifference to or conscious disregard” for the safety of Fowler and other players.
The injury was painful to watch, not only for the physical pain Fowler was forced to endure, but for the physical, mental and emotional anguish he’s no doubt felt since then. Fowler’s major-league career had literally started just moments before when he took the field in the first inning. He never even got a chance to bat. In fact, when the Yankees came to bat in the second inning, Fowler would have led off with his first MLB at-bat.
That’s how close Fowler was to really being a part of the Yankees and truly living his dream. That quickly, everything changed for Fowler, who at the time was the Yankees ninth best prospect. Then they continued changing a month later when he was traded to the Oakland Athletics as part of the Yankees Sonny Gray deal.
Fowler’s recovery is going as planned. As such, the A’s are hopeful he’ll be able to return in 2018 and maybe even help down the line. But there’s little doubt that injury has altered the direction of Fowler’s career forever, and now he’s holding the White Sox accountable.
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