Skip to comments.After getting hit by puck, Tampa mom wary about hockey games
Posted on 04/18/2018 6:45:34 AM PDT by Gamecock
TAMPA Sabrina Pattie and her two sons love hockey. And they love the Tampa Bay Lightning.
So she and her husband, Ryan, took them to their first-ever Lightning game on Saturday: Game 2 of the first-round Eastern Conference playoff series against the New Jersey Devils. They sat in Section 128, Row E just five rows from the glass at Amalie Arena.
Thats where the 39-year-old first-grade teacher was sitting when a puck flew over the glass, past the safety net and slammed into her face.
"Its not like they were center ice and this is a freak accident," her attorney, Loren Pincus, told the Tampa Bay Times. "They were right on the fringe where the net ends."
A medic quickly came to her aid. The Lawton Chiles Elementary School teacher was treated at a medical area in the arena, then taken to Tampa General Hospital.
Now Pattie wants to warn others about safety at hockey games. So far, she has missed two days of school and had to visit an optometrist to be cleared to start driving again.
The family doesnt yet know the full extent of her injuries, Pincus said. She has experienced "post-concussion-type symptoms," he said, including numbness on the left side of her face along with that black left eye and knot on her forehead. But the lawyer said it could have been worse.
"If the puck wouldve hit her (horizontally) flat, were talking about losing vision," Pincus said. "She couldve lost her eye."
Per team policy, Lightning representatives contacted Pattie the next business day on Monday. Team spokesman Bill Wickett also issued an apology on behalf of the team and said the arena adheres to all NHL safety guidelines.
"We are very sorry that Ms. Pattie was struck by a puck at our game on Saturday afternoon," the statement said. "The safety standards as they pertain to the spectator netting and minimum glass heights in all NHL buildings is set by the NHL and these standards are in place at Amalie Arena."
When fans attend any NHL game, they enter into an agreement that states neither the venue nor the hockey team are liable for any injuries.
Pincus complained that there hasnt been a lot of sympathy for his clients injuries. Hes heard arguments that amount to "you know what the ticket says, you know what the dangers are by stepping your foot in the arena. Why dont you stay home?"
He said there were three other times Saturday when fans were hit by a puck near the area where Pattie and her family were sitting.
"I dont think fans and people who are responding are aware of, No. 1, the severity of the injury, and No. 2, the frequency of how often it happens in that area," the lawyer said.
There have been a number of other incidents in the pastwhere fans were hit by pucks during a game. The most serious took place in 2002, when a girl was struck and killed by a puck during an NHL game in Columbus, Ohio.
The incident caused the NHL to implement mandatory safety netting at both ends of the rink behind the goalies.
Pincus said that his client has no plans to sue at the moment, but he said now may be a good time for the Lightning and the NHL to review whether the leagues safety practices are good enough to protect fans.
"This was a rocket that went in there to where shes got a 6 and a 7-year-old sitting next to her," the attorney said. "Something needs to be done about that."
Support the team
I would say mama is gun shy and I don’t blame her. Those pucks come pretty fast and hard.
Oh crap. Its for the children.
She got pucked
Go Las Vegas Golden Knights!!!!!
“Something needs to be done about that.” Anymore, I shudder when I hear these words.
Man, she got hammered. Ouch!
She’s got a little goalie in her.
Not saying this is what happened to this woman, but baseball and hockey require you to pay attention to what is going on.
If I got hit by a puck, I’d be wary about hockey games too.
As an aside, when I was a kid playing baseball, another kid got hit by a line drive in the head. The coach told him to get up and shake it off (this was the 70s). Then the coach tried to demonstrate to us kids that you had to shake things like that off by hitting himself in the head with a baseball as hard as he could. It was pretty amusing. I know he meant well but I doubt lessons like that would go over too well today.
Life comes at you fast.
A hockey puck didn’t do that. She got tuned-up.
another example of how tort law and one aggrieved person are going to ruin the experience for everyone by forcing some change no one is asking for.
Also, she has “no plans to sue” but why then does she have a lawyer making statements for her? total BS. This public employee has big $$$ in her eyes.
Maybe they should rent football helmets with face masks for those who feel “unsafe”.... ?
Years ago I was at a Dallas Stars game when a puck came flying up into the stands from center ice. My first reaction was to try and catch it ... second guessed that pretty quick. It was out of reach anyway and ended up flying into the upper level and knocking a kid out cold. The next season, the nets went all the way around the ice. I figured all NHL arenas had the nets all the way round by now.
“No plans to sue” means she’s waiting to see if she’ll get a payoff without having to go to court.
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