BOSTON (WHDH) - Former Boston Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino testified Friday in a civil suit brought against the team by a Brookline woman who was badly injured by a foul ball at Fenway Park in 2014.
Stephanie Taubin, who was sitting behind home plate in the EMC Club when she was hit in the face by a foul ball off the bat of David Ortiz, is suing the Red Sox for $9.5 million.
Lucchino told Suffolk Superior Court jurors that he too has been hit by a foul ball while sitting in the same section that Taubin was. He defended the decision to remove the protective glass from the EMC Club during renovations in 2005, saying an overwhelming amount of fans wanted it gone.
“It was nice for heating and air conditioning, but it wasn’t so good for the ballpark experience,” Lucchino said. “The glass was impairing people’s enjoyment of the seats.”
Taubin filed a lawsuit against team owner John Henry in 2015, claiming negligence on behalf of the ballclub. Taubin said she could hear the bones in her face crack when she was hit by the ball.
“I heard the bones crack. It just kind of knocked me,” Taubin said. “I felt an enormous amount of pain.”
She had to undergo multiple surgeries for facial fractures and neurological damage.
Lucchino said Ortiz once fouled off a ball that him square in the face.
“I was hit above the eye, and apparently I went right down,” Lucchino said. “The ball came up off the bat of David Ortiz.”
Despite the incident, Lucchino said he feels safe watching games in the EMC Club.
In cross-examination, Taubin’s attorney cited Red Sox statistics that showed when the glass came down, the number of fans hit by foul balls went up.
The Red Sox did consider raising the net behind home plate before Taubin was hit, according to Lucchino.
Team owner John Henry said in a court deposition that he feels the seats are safe and that he often sits his family in the club.
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