The family of a New Jersey boy severely injured by a line drive has reached a $14.5 million settlement with the maker of the metal baseball bat and other defendants that include Little League and a sporting goods retailer. Plaintiff’s lawyers have argued that metal bats raise the risk of injury on the diamond by imparting too much force to the ball. [New York Post, Point of Law (CPSC failed to find metal bats any riskier than wood), earlier here, etc.]
“Last Friday an Oklahoma federal jury awarded a pitcher $871,000 in actual damages (and gave his parents $80,095.85 in actual damages) for an aluminum bat that allegedly was defectively designed and contained insufficient warnings. The case is styled Yeaman v. Hillerich & Bradsby Co., Case No. CIV-10-1097-F (W.D. Okla.).” [Russell Jackson] Earlier here, here, here, etc.
Some trial lawyers have been crusading for a while on the theory that aluminum baseball bats are unreasonably dangerous because they allow balls to be hit with more force. A lawsuit over a 11-year-old Little Leaguer’s injury may be the next to test that theory. [Chicago Sun-Times]
A Montana jury decided that the aluminum baseball bat manufactured by “Louisville Slugger” maker Hillerich & Bradsby was not a defective product, but that the company should have warned of the dangers from its hitting balls at a higher speed, and awarded a family $850,000 for the 2003 death of their son at a baseball game. [Helena Independent Record, AP] Early commentary: Russell Jackson (doubting that a warning would actually have altered the behavior of those in the game) and Eugene Volokh (before verdict). Earlier here. More: Jim Copland discusses on CNN; Above the Law.
It’s going on from California to New York City: a Drew Carey feature for Reason.tv.
Filling in a detail readers wondered about before, on why Little League was named as a defendant: “The game in which Steven Domalewski sustained the injury was a Police Athletic League contest rather than a Little League event. Attorney Ernest Fronzuto countered that Little League Baseball officially approved the bat and by its actions led players, coaches and parents to believe the bat was safe for play among 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds.” (Bob Condor, “Living Well: Youth baseball injury stats: Ouch!”, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Jun. 1).
“A New Jersey couple, whose son was struck in the chest with a line drive, is planning to sue the maker of a metal baseball bat used in the game.” The family of Steven Domalewski “contends metal baseball bats are inherently unsafe for youth games because the ball comes off them much faster than from wooden bats. The lawsuit will also be filed against Little League Baseball and a sporting goods chain that sold the bat.” (AP/FoxNews.com, May 18). Earlier: Apr. 19 and Dec. 30, 2002.