Man says Arroyo Grande should pay for baseball hitting him in face

The Arroyo Grande City Council denied a $23,000-plus damage claim filed by a baseball player who was struck in the face by a fly ball when the lights went out at Soto Sports Complex.

Center fielder Chad Johnson suffered severe facial injuries when the overhead lights went out at 10 p.m. on July 28, 2006, during an adult recreational league game, according to his claim. The league contracts with the city to use the field.

“He saw the ball come off the bat, he saw it go up in the air, he moved in a position to get under the ball and then the lights went out and he couldn’t see it,” said Daniel J. O’Neill, a lawyer for Johnson.

Johnson’s nose and eyesocket were fractured, his vision was damaged and he was left with a scar on his face, O’Neill said.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously rejected the claim.

O’Neill said a lawsuit will be filed.