By Frank Pingue
(Reuters) - A California woman died last August as a result of being hit in the head by a batted ball during a Major League Baseball (MLB) game at Dodger Stadium, according to a Los Angeles County coroner's report obtained on Tuesday.
As stated in a copy of the coroner's report sent to Reuters, the 79-year-old woman died of "acute intracranial haemorrhage due to history of blunt force trauma" four days after she was struck in the head with a baseball during an Aug. 25 game.
ESPN, which first reported the story, said the incident happened in the top of the ninth inning when a San Diego Padres batter hit a foul ball to the first-base side of home plate that flew over the protective netting and hit Linda Goldbloom.
MLB said in a statement to Reuters that it was saddened by the tragic accident and passing of Goldbloom, adding that fan safety is a top priority of the league and it is constantly evaluating the coverage and design of ballpark netting.
"Numerous steps by the Office of the Commissioner and our Clubs in recent years have improved ballpark safety. The inventory of protected seats has increased and we have raised significant awareness regarding this important issue.
"We remain fully committed to prioritizing safety while preserving the fan-friendly elements of the ballpark experience that meet the expectations of those who attend our games."
In December 2015 MLB issued recommendations for protective netting or screens - which aims to protect fans in field level seats from low-flying foul balls and broken bats - between the ends of the dugouts closest to home plate.
Last February, MLB then said all 30 of its teams would have expanded protective netting that reached to at least the far end of the dugouts after a number of spectator injuries in the previous season.
Goldbloom's death is the first in nearly 50 years directly attributed to being hit by a foul ball at a MLB ballpark but there have been numerous cases of spectator injuries due to errant balls and broken bats in recent years.
"Mr. and Mrs. Goldbloom were great Dodgers fans who regularly attended games. We were deeply saddened by this tragic accident and the passing of Mrs. Goldbloom," the Los Angeles Dodgers said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
"The matter has been resolved between the Dodgers and the Goldbloom family. We cannot comment further on this matter."
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Christian Radnedge)