HALL OF FAME third baseman Brooks Robinson plunged 6 feet from an unsecured stage during a charity event at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Fla., 2 years ago and is now suing the Seminole Tribe for nearly $10 million for his injuries.
But whether the Baltimore Orioles great will collect enough to even cover his medical bills is an open question, said his Miami attorney, Jack Hickey, because under state law the tribe's liability is limited.
Robinson, 76, still experiences bleeding on the brain, cracks in his spine, and has lost 5 inches in height as a result of the injuries, Hickey said. He requires constant care and "has aged 10 years since the fall."
Under the state's legal agreement with the tribe, if someone is injured at a tribal casino and wants to sue, the tribe's payment is capped at $200,000 per person and $300,000 per incident, the same limits enjoyed by the state when it is sued for negligence.
Hickey is asking the tribe to waive the liability cap and pay $9.9 million to compensate for Robinson's surgeries, medications and physical therapy. He estimates Robinson has lost nearly $3 million in income to his family and his charities and he believes the case exposes a weakness in the compact between the state and the tribe.
Seminole Tribe spokesman Gary Bitner defended the arrangement and said he was confident that the tribe would negotiate a fair resolution with Robinson but "can't discuss any negotiations."
Robinson's injury occurred in January 2012, when he was sitting at the top of a three-tiered stage at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino during a player recognition and auction event for Joe DiMaggio's Children's Hospital.
Robinson apparently attempted to get up from his chair and leaned back against a curtain that had no railing or wall behind it. He fell to the ground, suffering a concussion and fracturing his shoulder and back, his lawyer said in a letter sent to the tribe's insurance company, Zurich Insurance.
Since the fall, he has limited his appearances, suffers chronic back pain, has "slowness in his thought process and speech'' and is "always exhausted,'' Hickey wrote.
* Three-time All-Star catcher Hal Smith died Saturday in Fort Smith, Ark. He was 82. A cause of death was not released. Smith played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1956-61 and later played briefly for Pittsburgh in 1965 before becoming a scout and coach for several teams. Survivors include his wife and three children.
* Toronto second baseman Maicer Izturis needs surgery for a tear in his left knee and could be out for the rest of the season. The Blue Jays said Izturis, 33, had a complete tear of the lateral collateral ligament. Izturis will seek a second opinion before setting the surgery. The team said the recovery time is about 4 to 6 months. Izturis is hitting .286 in 11 games.
* San Diego second baseman Jedd Gyorko agreed to a 6-year contract that adds $35 million over five seasons through 2019. Gyorko's agreement, which replaces a 1-year deal agreed to last month, includes a team option for 2020. San Diego essentially buys out 1 year of free agency and possibly 2. Gyorko proved himself with a big rookie season, hitting .249 with 23 home runs and 63 RBI.
* Major League Baseball games drew more than 1.5 million fans during a crowded early weekend. MLB said the 45 dates over the weekend averaged nearly 34,000. The total attendance of 1,524,508 was the highest this early in April for any weekend that didn't include a home opener. Through the first two full weekends, MLB has drawn over 2.9 million fans. That is the second-highest in history, trailing only the total in 2005.
* The Yankees says X-rays on the right hand of catcher Brian McCann were negative. David Phelps hit A.J. Pierzynski with a pitch in New York's 3-2 win over Boston on Sunday, and the ball deflected off McCann's right index finger. McCann stayed in the game.
Catcher Francisco Cervelli, playing at first base because of injuries to others, left in the fourth inning after straining a hamstring. He will be placed on the disabled list today.
Pitcher Shane Greene was optioned to Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday.
* Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre was hoping to get back in the lineup this week before being told Sunday he was going on the disabled list because of a strained left quadriceps. Beltre said he didn't agree with the team putting him on the disabled list but also acknowledged it was probably a smart move. The earliest he will be eligible to be activated is April 24.
* Cincinnati closer Aroldis Chapman threw off a mound for the first time since he was hit in the forehead by a line drive during spring training.
* At Miami, Jordan Zimmermann bounced back from the shortest start of his career to pitch seven innings and lead the Washington Nationals to a 9-2 win over the Miami Marlins, who endured their eighth loss in a row. Bryce Harper had two doubles and an RBI triple for Washington. He has batted .520 over his past seven games to boost his average to .348.
* At Milwaukee, Lance Lynn struck out 11 in seven innings, Jon Jay hit a three-run homer and the St. Louis Cardinals snapped the Brewers' nine-game winning streak with a 4-0 victory.
* At Cincinnati, Neil Walker and Gaby Sanchez hit back-to-back homers twice, and the Pirates and Reds combined for 10 homers in only six innings before rain forced a suspension with the score tied, 7-7. The game will be resumed in the top of the seventh today at 5:30.
* At Baltimore, Wei-Yin Chen (2-1) took a four-hitter into the seventh inning and the Orioles got their offense back on track against Chris Archer in a 7-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.