Weatherford Democrat

October 17, 2013

Local man sues Texas Rangers over playoff game fracas


Weatherford Democrat

— By CHRISTIN COYNE

A Weatherford man who says he was knocked unconscious after verbally intervening in a fight during a Texas Rangers’ baseball game two years ago is now suing the team owners and a consession stand operator.

Don Alan Markum Jr. and his wife, Evon Markum, filed a lawsuit in Tarrant County this week against Rangers Baseball Express LLC, Rangers Baseball LLC and Metroplex Sportservice Inc., alleging he was “sucker punched” by an intoxicated fan, made to leave his seat and denied medical treatment at the ballpark.

The couple was attending game six of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Oct. 15, 2011 when they noticed four “unruly, obviously intoxicated” fans sitting in the row below them.

The fans made several trips to purchase beer from the concession stands during the game and made several loud, lewd comments, disrupting the game for other fans in the area, according to the lawsuit.

“In the bottom of the third inning, the unruly fans turned around and began harassing another couple sitting next to the Markums,” the lawsuit states. “After several moments, the confrontation became physical.”

Don Markum intervened verbally, attempting to calm the situation, according to the petition. However, after the fight stopped, one man reportedly threw a “sucker punch” that struck Markum in the left eye, that knocked him unconscious and immediately caused bleeding.

Ballpark security arrived while Markum was unconscious and, as he was regaining consciousness, required everyone involved in the incident to leave the seating area, according to Markum’s lawsuit.

Markum was “wobbly” and obviously injured but security failed to ascertain whether Markum needed medical attention before requiring him to exit the area, the petition states, adding that he was denied medical treatment other than being offered an ice pack when everyone reached the concourse.

Markum was diagnosed with a concussion and a fracture of the lower orbital below his left eye, according to the lawsuit.

The court filing states Markum had three surgeries to repair the fracture and his left eye is permanently disfigured.

The Markums are seeking $200,000 to $1 million in damages, including more than $55,000 in medical expenses.

The lawsuit claims the Rangers’ ownership was negligent in failing to provide adequate security, failing to provide a safe place and ensure the safety of fan attending the baseball game and failing to provide adequate medical care to fans attending.

The beer vendor was also negligent in serving an alcoholic beverage to the fan who struck Markum, according to the lawsuit, which alleges the man was obviously intoxicated and presented a clear danger to himself and others.

The Democrat left messages for but was unable to reach a Texas Rangers’ spokesman and the general manager of Metroplex Sportservice Thursday afternoon.