Manning v. Grimsley
643 F.2d 20 (1t Cir.1981).

Facts:
Grimsley was a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles who was getting heckled by fans while he was warming up. Grimsley looked directly at the hecklers on several occasions, and then eventually threw an 80 mph heater directly at them, hitting the plaintiff.

History:
The district judge directed a verdict in favor of the defendants on the battery count, and the jury returned a verdict for the defendants on the negligence count.

Issue:
Should the battery charge have been submitted to the jury?

Holding:
Yes. Reversed.

Reasoning:
“In Massachusetts, where a plaintiff seeks to recover damages from an employer for injuries resulting from an employee’s assault, it must be shown that the employee’s assault was in response to the plaintiff’s conduct which was presently interfering with the employee’s ability to perform his duties successfully.”

  • Here, the court found that constant heckling by the plaintiff was presently interfering with the pitcher’s ability to successfully perform his duties.