Man demanding answers after windshield crushed by golf ball
BATON ROUGE - Not every golfer hits their shot straight down the middle. After a golf ball broke one man's windshield, he called 2 On Your Side for help.
Robert Perkins lives at Fairway View Apartments with his wife and son and parks his car out front of his apartment. Three weeks ago, he was walking outside to his car and found the windshield to be cracked.
"I saw a golf ball laying over there," said Perkins. "Get in my car, windshield cracked!"
Perkins says a golf ball did all that damage. A shot, likely pulled far left from the fourth tee box at BREC's Webb Park Golf Course.
"I can't tell you what time of day or night my glass got broke, but I know it got broke," he said.
Since it happened, Perkins hasn't been able to drive the car. In that time frame his inspection sticker has expired and he can't get a new one without a new windshield. Perkins doesn't think he should have to fork over the money to fix it. He tells 2 On Your Side his insurance will cover the cost, but he has a $500 deductible. The windshield replacement is about $250.
So far, he hasn't had any luck with his apartment complex jumping in to help. His apartment building has also taken it's share of golf ball hits, too.
"They tell me they're not responsible," he said.
BREC tells WBRZ the course was there first and Fairway View Apartments were built around it.
BREC Golf Director Mike Raby says, "While BREC does everything it can to be a good neighbor, the law in this case is very clear: Individual golfers are responsible for any damage caused by a ball they hit. A golf course would only be held responsible if the design of the golf course were such that it creates an unsafe situation. In this instance, this is clearly not the case because we have a straight golf hole that had apartments built next to it well after the golf course was built. In this situation the apartment developers should have taken appropriate measures to protect their customers from errant golf shots."
Raby also says, in the event a golfer does not come forward to take responsibility, the apartment management should compensate their customer for any loss and take steps to mediate possible occurrences in the future.
Perkins says he didn't see who hit the ball and no one came forward to claim responsibility.
A 30 ft. netting separates the course and Fairway View Apartments. The first few sections of the netting are in disrepair. BREC says the netting was installed and is owned by Fairway View.
Perkins is not convinced the netting is doing a great job of protecting his property from a golf ball, since he's collected almost two dozen balls that have flown over the netting in the last two weeks.
"It's not my responsibility I didn't break my glass," said Perkins.
Fairway View management tells 2 On Your Side it did not know the netting belonged to them. It says it is working with BREC and it will continue to look out for the best interest of the residents when it comes to the netting. Fairway View Apartments also says it will look into anything that might be done in the future to help this situation.