Popov v. Hayashi

Superior Court, San Francisco County, California
2002 WL 31833731 (2002)


Facts

During the 2001 Major League Baseball season, Barry Bonds broke Roger Maris’ record for most home runs in a single season. Towards the end of the season, as Bonds set the record higher, fans began to congregate in the areas where he was most likely to hit a home run. On October 7, 2001, Bonds hit his seventy-third home run. In the stands on the day in question were Alex Popov (plaintiff) and Patrick Hayashi (defendant). As the ball reached the stands, Popov was able to make contact with the ball through his glove. As the ball entered the glove, Popov was attacked by those surrounding him, dislodging the ball. Hayashi was not involved in this attack. The ball then rolled to Hayashi, who placed it in his pocket until he was escorted by security to a secure area in the stadium. Popov then brought a suit against Hayashi for ownership of the ball.

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Holding and Reasoning (McCarthy, J.)

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