TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Monday, May 19, 2008

Parents to Sue Bat Manufacturer

A couple of years ago, Steven Domalewski was struck and seriously injured when a baseball he'd pitched was hit back into his chest. His parents are now suing the bat manufacturer, as well as against the retailer and Little League Baseball. They contend that metal bats, given the increased velocity of balls hit with them, ought not be used by Little League players at all. The suit comes a year after New York City banned the bats' use in high school games.


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Reports on the lawsuit filed by parents of a boy injured by a ball hit by a metal bat [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 19, 2008 9:28:06 PM


From what I've read, those freak accidents from getting hit in the chest are a result of very unfortunate timing of the blow with respect to the heart beat, more than the violence of the blow. A more slowly moving ball may even be more likely to trigger the heart problem. If so, the metal bat issue would be a hard one to win on, as opposed to a line drive that hit someone in the head, say. Beyond that, there is a small danger of serious injury in playing baseball, which has to be assessed in advance. I worry slightly about my son and daughter, both of whom pitch, when certain hitters are at the plate. Though metal bats must increase the danger, it has been very hard to actually demonstrate this from any study I've heard of.

Posted by: Bob Estes | May 19, 2008 7:23:56 AM

Suing the bat manufacturer seems like non-sense to me. it is going to be to hard to prove that it was the bat that cause the injury. There are too many variables. What if the ball was softer, what if the kid was further from the plate. There is no doubt that the bat hitting the ball made it travel the speed it did but if they used tennis balls would this injury have occurred? also the bat is made to do what it did for them to prove at what point the bat hits the ball too hard is impossible to do.

Posted by: Nick | May 19, 2008 8:03:19 PM

Isn't assumed risk settled defense for injuries at a sports event? Shouldn't the judge sanction this family and its lawyer for filing a frivolous lawsuit? Isn't this child receiving adequate medical care, and does not need $millions for future care? Why aren't they suing the person responsible for the injury, the batter? Didn't the victim's pitch contribute to the trajectory of the ball? Doesn't that make this claim pretextual?

Why does this blog censor non-obscene, non-defamatory comments in loving correction of the lawyer's misleading propaganda?

[BC notes: each editor moderates comments on their own posts.

Some states do not permit the use of assumption of risk in strict liability in tort claims, or modify it to be effectively the same as contributory negligence/comparative fault. Given the age of the plaintiff, it's quite possible that it would not eliminate or maybe even not reduce recovery.]

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 20, 2008 4:27:20 AM

It would seem to me that this case is absurd. I feel for the injured child and his parents, but playing the game of baseball comes with risk. The parents who signed their child up assumed all risk, understood the rules and risks of the game and had knowledge of what could happen. Aluminum bats are powerful, but they were permitted in the league. This type of accident is rare and unfortunate and I believe the parents will have a difficult time proving their case.

Posted by: Chad | May 20, 2008 9:09:32 AM

Prof. C: I prefer to not try to criticize this claim without more facts, including any conclusion by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. I would be interested in reading the complaint. Mutual interest in reading original legal documents is a strength of legal blogging.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 20, 2008 3:07:31 PM

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