$14.5M for boy's brain injury from metal bat

Dec 8, 2004
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#1
A New Jersey teenager left brain-damaged after being struck by a line drive off a metal bat while he was playing in a youth baseball game will receive $14.5 million to settle his lawsuit against the bat manufacturer, Little League Baseball and a sporting goods chain.

The settlement of Steven Domalewski's lawsuit was announced in state Superior Court on Wednesday morning in Passaic County. The boy, now 18, lives in Wayne, N.J. His family had claimed the metal bat was unsafe because baseballs could carom off it at much faster speeds than wooden bats.

''The Domalewskis are still saddened by the tragic events of June 2006, but this settlement provides them with some relief and comfort that Steven will get the care he needs for the rest of his life,'' said the family's attorney, Ernest Fronzuto. ''He still can't perform any functions of daily life on his own.''

Stephen D. Keener, president and CEO of Little League Baseball Inc., said the settlement guarantees that

''Steven Domalewski will receive the lifetime care he will require as a result of this tragic accident, a type of accident that is extremely rare in youth baseball.''

Fronzuto said the settlement precluded him from discussing its details, including whether any of the defendants admitted liability.

Domalewski was pitching when the batter rocketed a line drive off the metal bat he was swinging.

The ball slammed into Steven's chest, just above his heart, knocking him backward. He clutched his chest, then made a motion to reach for the ball on the ground to pick it up and throw to first base to get the runner out.

But he never made it that far. The ball had struck his chest at the precise millisecond between heartbeats, sending him into cardiac arrest, according to his doctors. He crumpled to the ground and stopped breathing.

His father, Joseph, a teacher who had been on the sideline with the rest of the team, said he and a third base coach from the other team both ran onto the field, where Steven was already turning blue.

Someone yelled, ''Call 911!'' Within 90 seconds, a man trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation who had been playing catch with his 9-year-old daughter jumped over the fence and started to work on Steven.

Paramedics, who were a quarter-mile away doing a CPR demonstration, got to Steven within minutes, placed an oxygen mask over his face and rushed him to a hospital. But the damage had been done; his brain had been without oxygen for 15 to 20 minutes.

''Pretty much, he died,'' Joseph Domalewski said in a 2008 interview with The Associated Press. ''It was just so fast. The thud, you could hear. When it hit him, that seemed to echo.''

Domalewski was playing in a Police Athletic League game, but Little League was sued because the group certifies that specific metal bats are approved for - and safe for - use in games involving children.

Rick Redman, a spokesman for Hillerich and Bradsby, manufacturers of the Louisville Slugger brand bat, confirmed a settlement had been reached, but declined further comment.

An attorney representing The Sports Authority, the national sporting goods retailer, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Little League reached an agreement with the major manufacturers in the early 1990s to limit metal bats' performance to that of the best wooden bats. Little League said in 2008 that injuries to its pitchers fell from 145 a year before the accord was reached to the current level of about 20 to 30 annually.

The organization's website lists scores of metal-barreled bat models that remain approved for use in Little League play.
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Motor Head

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#2
There is a reason they outlawed aluminium bats in the big legs. You can throw a 100 mph fastball and have it leave the bat faster then when it hit it. I've seen a couple college players get the shit knocked out of them from taking a line drive off an aluminium bat. While I don't believe in the lawsuit, I think the bats should be banned. Besides, nothing compares to that crack of a bat. The metal ding sound sucks.
 

Chino Kapone

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Jun 10, 2005
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#3
There is a reason they outlawed aluminium bats in the big legs. You can throw a 100 mph fastball and have it leave the bat faster then when it hit it. I've seen a couple college players get the shit knocked out of them from taking a line drive off an aluminium bat. While I don't believe in the lawsuit, I think the bats should be banned. Besides, nothing compares to that crack of a bat. The metal ding sound sucks.
Aluminum bats are cheaper because they last so much longer. That's the problem. It's sad for the kid, and his family.... I'm sure they'd rather have a full funtioning son instead of $14.5 million.
 

OilyJillFart

Well-Lubed Member
Sep 26, 2008
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#4
Can't a person get punched in the heart by a drive from a wooden bat and suffer the same injury?
Or is there no possibility that can happen?
 

gleet

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Jul 24, 2005
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#5
You can throw a 100 mph fastball and have it leave the bat faster then when it hit it.
:confused:
They leave all bats faster than the pitch. Not many people can stand at home and throw one out of the park.

The ball had struck his chest at the precise millisecond between heartbeats, sending him into cardiac arrest
Timing is everything in baseball.
 

Falldog

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#6
That sucks, but how the hell is the sporting good's store liable for such a thing.
 

Norm Stansfield

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#8
That sucks, but how the hell is the sporting good's store liable for such a thing.
They are the ones who have money. That's how socialism works: you find someone with money, and take it from them in the name of justice. Doesn't matter who, doesn't matter why, doesn't matter by what means.
 

Norm Stansfield

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Mar 17, 2009
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#10
There is a reason they outlawed aluminium bats in the big legs. You can throw a 100 mph fastball and have it leave the bat faster then when it hit it.
Yes, that's why they're used. Playing baseball isn't much fun if you can't hit the ball hard. Unless you're a major league slugger, wooden bats just don't work well enough.
I've seen a couple college players get the shit knocked out of them from taking a line drive off an aluminium bat. While I don't believe in the lawsuit, I think the bats should be banned. Besides, nothing compares to that crack of a bat. The metal ding sound sucks.
Wooden bats should be banned too. Baseball should only be played with foam fingers and beach balls. Better safe than sorry. After all, a kid suffered brain damage. That's unacceptable, the world should be 100% safe at all times.

You know what, forget banning individual things. Let's just pass one law, declaring that from now on the Universe must be 100% safe, a no one ever is allowed to get hurt or die.
 

Lord Zero

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Aug 25, 2008
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#11
A New Jersey teenager left brain-damaged after being struck by a line drive off a metal bat while he was playing in a youth baseball game will receive $14.5 million to settle his lawsuit against the bat manufacturer, Little League Baseball and a sporting goods chain.
What the fuck?
 

whiskeyguy

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#12
So shouldn't the people responsible be the ones who allowed the bats to be used in a youth league? How the fuck does the bat company have any liability in this? Oh that's right, they're the ones with money... they must be at fault.
 

gleet

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Jul 24, 2005
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#14
You know what, forget banning individual things. Let's just pass one law, declaring that from now on the Universe must be 100% safe, a no one ever is allowed to get hurt or die.
Ahhh, the Fez Resolution. You already have a co-sponsor.
 

Ballbuster1

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#15
Always sue everyone. That way someone will settle rather than
get dragged thru a law suit. And always try to find the deepest pockets.
They hold the most money and will pay off the fastest to quiet the problem.
 

Hog's Big Ben

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#16

mr. sin

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#18
composite bats are just as bad. the pop off a easton synergy or a miken freak is ridiculous
 

d0uche_n0zzle

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#19
I, for one, would like them to carry the bat while running the bases. If a ball is thrown to a baseman and the runner/batter is within striking distance, he may chose to bat the ball, or beat the baseman.

All team brawls will involve bats. So protective gear wouldn't be optional.
 

Off-White-Power

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May 12, 2007
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#20
Ah but for the grace of god go I. When I was 11 I hit a boy over the head with a baseball bat because he had struck my 3 yr old sister with it in the stomach. It cracked his skull and suffered perm brain damage. Had to go to civil court as I recall. Judge sided with my family as the boy's family got caught stretching the truth.

I think he learned his lesson.
 

tattered

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#21
Ah but for the grace of god go I. When I was 11 I hit a boy over the head with a baseball bat because he had struck my 3 yr old sister with it in the stomach. It cracked his skull and suffered perm brain damage. Had to go to civil court as I recall. Judge sided with my family as the boy's family got caught stretching the truth.

I think he learned his lesson.
Good for you. I might of killed the kid if he did that to my sister
 

JonBenetRamsey

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#22
Aluminum bats are cheaper because they last so much longer. That's the problem. It's sad for the kid, and his family.... I'm sure they'd rather have a full funtioning son instead of $14.5 million.
no one from wayne nj would take a functioning kid over 14.5 million.
 

Hog's Big Ben

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#23
Ah but for the grace of god go I. When I was 11 I hit a boy over the head with a baseball bat because he had struck my 3 yr old sister with it in the stomach. It cracked his skull and suffered perm brain damage. Had to go to civil court as I recall. Judge sided with my family as the boy's family got caught stretching the truth.
Of course their side of the story wasn't accurate. Their one eyewitness had brain damage.
 

Gorilla Pimp

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#24
Whatever happened to just bad luck? Sorry your kid got all fucked up, but that doesn't mean it's anybodys fault and people owe you money.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
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#25
Of course their side of the story wasn't accurate. Their one eyewitness had brain damage.
Timmy, can you tell the court what happened that day?

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