Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, August 19, 2019

First base and running lane did not comply with ASA rules, injured player argues at trial in Matoesian's court

By Ann Maher | Mar 1, 2016

Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian is presiding over trial involving a softball player's alleged injuries at a Staunton tournament in August 2007.

Gregory Gvillo sued DeCamp Junction and organizer Jim Moultrie in 2008, blaming them for not following Amateur Softball Association’s Rules of Softball (ASA Rules), which require that a first base must be a double base, 15 inches by 30 inches. He claims that half of the base should have been white and in fair territory and the other half should have been orange or green and in foul territory, but was not.

He claims the base in question was only 15 inches by 15 inches, was all white and all in fair territory.

Gvillo also claims that ASA rules state that there should have been a running lane - a 30-foot line drawn in foul territory three feet parallel from the base line starting halfway between home and first, and extending to the back of first.

His alleged injuries occurred after a batter hit a ground ball, which was caught and thrown to him. The batter ran towards first base and allegedly crashed into Gvillo.

He blames 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.

His suit claims that he suffered a fractured humerus and ulnar damage, among other things. He seeks in excess of $50,000 in damages.

More than two years ago, Matoesian had granted a defense motion for summary judment on the first day trial was to have begun in November 2013.

Defendants are represented by Robert H. Gregory of East Alton.

Matoesian agreed with Gregory, who had argued that his clients were immune from liability under a provision of the Recreational Use of Land and Water Areas Act.

Gvillo, represented at trial court by Christopher Donohoo of East Alton, appealed Matoesian's summary judgment ruling.

On March 11, 2015, the Fifth District Appelalte Court found in favor of Gvillo, holding that at the time of his alleged injury, the immunity provision was applicable only to property open to the public for use in hunting and recreational shooting.

Gvillo amended his complaint in September, and Matoesian set trial to begin Feb. 29.

Opening statements were given Monday. Trial is to resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 08-L-871.

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