Due to injuries to a New Jersey little league player, the manufacturer of the Louisville Slugger aluminum bat has now agreed to settle out for $14.5 million. The settlement in this products liability lawsuit came about when a young boy was struck in the chest by a baseball. The injuries that the boy received ultimately led to extensive brain damage that will likely require a lifetime of treatment and care.
Lightweight aluminum bats have already been banned in a number of New Jersey communities, and such a lawsuit will likely highlight the dangers in using such bats at any level of play. Pitchers on baseball teams are particularly vulnerable to being injured when such bats are used.
The New Jersey little leaguer was 12-years old when injured while pitching in a little league game close to the Rochelle Park community. A line drive struck the boy in the chest, and this caused his heart to stop beating. It was estimated that the boy’s brain was then deprived of oxygen for 15 or 20 minutes. Though the boy now has a limited ability to speak, he nevertheless remains blind and confined to a wheelchair as the results of his injuries.
The baseball bat in question is apparently much lighter and stronger than more traditional type bats used. Aluminum bats have long been questioned for use in little league player, and this particular bat presents an even greater difficulty.
The attorney for the family hopes that this settlement will bring about some changes. Generally, such lawsuits deal with actual injuries that have occurred, and that’s why litigation often precedes necessary legislation as concerns dangerous or defective products.
Source: NorthJersey.com, “$14.5M settlement reached in Wayne’s family’s Louisville Slugger lawsuit,” by John Petrick and Richard Cowen, August 22, 2012