Ann Maher Nov. 14, 2013, 10:13am

Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian on Nov. 12 granted a motion for summary judgment, settling an injured softball player’s lawsuit on the first day of trial.

Defendants DeCamp Junction Inc. and Jim Moultrie filed the motion for summary judgment through attorney Robert H. Gregory of the Law Office of Robert H. Gregory in East Alton on Nov. 4 in favor of the defendants and against the plaintiff.

The defense memorandum of law supporting summary judgment argued they are immune from liability under the Recreational Use of Land and Water Areas Act.

According to the Act, “An owner of land owes no duty of care to keep the premises safe for entry or use by any person for recreational or conservation purposes, or to give any warning of a natural or artificial dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity or such premises to persons entering for such purposes.”

They also argued that rules the plaintiff cited as support for his claim did not apply to a softball tournament where the alleged injury took place.

According to the complaint filed Sept. 25, 2008, plaintiff Gregory Gvillo claimed he was playing as first baseman in a softball tournament on Aug. 30, 2007, when another player was at bat. The batter hit a ground ball, which was caught and thrown to the plaintiff. The batter ran towards first base and allegedly crashed into Gvillo.

Gvillo blamed the defendants for failing to properly prepare the field, alleging they “undertook to organize, sponsor and/or supervise a softball tournament being held on” the defendants property in Staunton.

Moultrie was named a defendant in his capacity as vice president of DeCamp Junction Inc. and an organizer of the softball leagues that play at DeCamp.

Gvillo claimed the defendants were allegedly in charge of setting up the field according to the Amateur Softball Association’s Rules of Softball (ASA Rules), the suit stated.

According to the suit, the rules state that the first base must be a double base, 15 inches by 30 inches. Half of the base should be white and in the fair territory and the other half should be orange or green and in the foul territory.

“The aforesaid rule is a safety rule designed to avoid a batter impacting the first baseman,” the complaint stated.

Gvillo argued that the defendants did not prepare a double base, and as a result he was injured.

Gvillo claimed he suffered severe injuries including a fractured humerous and ulnar nerve damage, among other things, as a result of the defendants’ negligence.

He sought a judgment of more than $50,000.

Michael R. Lang of Chicago represented the plaintiff.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 8-L-871

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