$52,000 verdict for injury while throwing pitch

by Walter Olson on September 29, 2010

Prince George’s County, Maryland: “The jury found that the tournament organizer, Baseball Players Association, built the pitcher’s mound too big and too deep.” [Ron Miller]

{ 10 comments }

1 Jason Barney 09.29.10 at 9:27 am

Why does Ron Miller make a point to indicate the defendant was insured by an AIG spinoff, other than to link it to an unpopular insurer? It’s irrelevant, just as irrelevant as if the plaintiff’s $2,703 in medical specials were paid by private health insurance. (Collateral source rule works both ways, Ron!) I think his plaintiff bias is showing.

2 Carter 09.29.10 at 10:11 am

So does Stephen Strasburg have a claim against the Nationals groundkeepers?

3 Ron Miller 09.29.10 at 12:52 pm

Collateral sources ARE permissible in blog posts. See 4 Miller.Blog at 3958, footnote 3.

Actually, you are right Jason. It was totally gratuitous. I noted the insurance company and thought it was of interest because most lawyers handling personal injury cases would not recognize the name Chartis.

In terms of plaintiff bias, it is true that I have one of those. But, as I thought my post made clear, even though I don’t have all of the facts, I think the plaintiff assumed the risk of his injuries by pitching off a mound he knew or should have known was defective. The plaintiff’s lawyer in this case would not have wanted me on the jury.

4 Anonymous Attorney 09.29.10 at 1:50 pm

Ron says:

“There is a verdict in Metro Verdicts Monthly in Prince George’s County that I’m amazed has received no media coverage.”

I’m not amazed. As I’ve commented several times, the media is heavily pro-plaintiff. A story that makes plaintiffs look bad is not one the media likes. Also, journalists are basically lazy and don’t do things like sniff around verdict reporters — they feed off press releases from plaintiff’s attorneys.

And, defendants are wimps at the PR game, as I rant here:

http://overlawyered.com/2010/03/when-defendants-resist/

A story like this would be a golden opportunity for the client and the insurer to come out with its own press release, but they’ll never do it. Too much corporate starchiness.

5 Walter Olson 09.29.10 at 6:21 pm

I thought Ron’s Chartis aside was interesting, and I am seldom accused of having a plaintiff bias.

6 Jason Barney 09.29.10 at 8:14 pm

Okay, I see the Chartis reference then, however initially doubting the relevance. Although, I admit my frustration in reading a blog posting of a questionable-merit suit that ends with a “don’t worry it’s all covered by a gigantic insurance company” paragraph. It diminishes what appears to be an injustice against a (probably non-profit) sports league. And, of course I don’t believe it was in any way improper to speak freely about Chartis in your blog post, but do believe the analysis of the underlying tort merits should be absent knowledge of collateral sources. That’s my point.

7 E-Bell 09.29.10 at 8:51 pm

For some reason, I thought Chartis was a health insurance company.

Hm.. PG County, verdict’s not that surprising; it’s the most plaintiff-friendly venue in the state, except maybe Baltimore City.

8 Ron Miller 09.30.10 at 5:12 am

Jason, I agree that analysis of the underlying merits should not include collateral sources. And E-Bell is certainly correct that PG and Baltimore City are easily the best venues for plaintiffs in Maryland (even though I think too much emphasis gets placed sometimes on the importance of venue).

9 William Nuesslein 10.02.10 at 7:02 am

Two points disturb me about the case. The mound was either correctly built or not. There was no indication that either pitcher, or anybody else, in the game complained about the mound before the subject pitch. How a jury could make a decision about the mound is beyond me.

How would a minor error in the mound affect the boy’s throw. He probably would thrown as hard on a perfect mound. The verdict should be tossed out for failure to prove causation. And the judge should be tossed out for being a jackass.

10 Melvin H. 10.02.10 at 10:03 pm

Was it ever shown that the mound was NOT a legal mound under the rules of baseball?

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