Skip to comments.Jury Awards $850K In Louisville Slugger Case
Posted on 10/31/2009 10:47:17 PM PDT by steve-b
A jury on Wednesday found that the maker of Louisville Slugger baseball bats failed to adequately warn about the dangers the product can pose, awarding a family $850,000 for the 2003 death of their son in a baseball game.
The family of Brandon Patch argued that aluminum baseball bats are dangerous because they cause the baseball to travel at a greater speed. They contended that their 18-year-old son did not have enough time to react to the ball being struck before it hit him in the head while he was pitching in an American Legion baseball game in Helena in 2003.
The Lewis and Clark County District Court jury awarded a total of $850,000 in damages against Louisville, Ky.,-based Hillerich & Bradsby for failure to place warnings on the product....
(Excerpt) Read more at kcci.com ...
Tragic their kid was hurt, but to take the bat to Louisville Slugger stinks. Another batch of tort lawyers looking for the big payola...(can you say “contingency fee”? I knew you could.)
Just a thought, but does this mean that the next kid who can peg a fast ball over the Center Field Fence with a willow switch has to get a warning tatooed on himself somewhere? Sheesh.
Can the ends of baseball and football - sport of any kind - be so far behind?
There’s really no need to have aluminum bats. I understand they are more durable than wood bats, but they are more dangerous.
Metal baseball bats are an abomination.
Baseball bats should be made of ash, as God and Alexander Joy Cartwright intended.
Hooray for the verdict.
Are they also suing the maker of their sons mitt that failed to stop this obviously dangerous ball? Oh yeah, sue the maker of the ball too
Yeah, and McDonalds coffee is hot.
you forgot the /sarcasm tag... to your post methinks.
“you forgot the /sarcasm tag... to your post methinks.”
You thinks wrong.
And McDonald’s coffee was also much too hot — near the boiling point, just to save a few cents of coffee per pot.
Sometimes juries see the truth and do what needs to be done.
Metal baseball bats are too dangerous for the professionals.
Amateur baseball teams use them to save money, risking the lives of their players.
There should be a warning on each and every bat.
When I was a kid I could afford my own ash baseball bats. Are we really now that destitute?
Too bad 0bama didn’t come with a warning label on his forehead.
Can we sue?
This ruling is just more of them that “don’t” giving to themselves from them that “do”. 0bama is legitimizing that mindset.
Prayers up for the lost one.
If the rules can decide that a baseball bat can’t be a tennis-racket type thing, then they can also decide that bats can’t be aluminum or anything else that carries them further and faster.
I can get more homeruns by using a super-ball. I can get fewer by allowing the pitcher to throw a golf ball. But, I don’t.
Not all wood bats are ash.
Wood bats cost a fortune now and when I played we broke so many that bat bag got light by the end of the season.
The old ash has been picked over, Maple bats are fairly common.
If you were into woodworking you’d know there are blanks available for more than just ash and one thing they have in common - None are cheap.
Kids who aren’t talented enough to pick the splinters out of their butt are far more common than when I was a kid.
while i agree with your premise that aluminum bats are more dangerous because they cause the ball to travel at a faster speed, should .45 cal. ammo be banned because it is more harmful to a human body than .22 ammo?
Wood bats are very expensive.
A better solution would be a certification system for metal and composite bats. They should be designed to hit a ball with the same forces as a wood bat.
It wouldn’t get rid of the “ping,” but it would make the game more even.
Just remember that Mike Coolbaugh was killed with a ball hit by a wood bat and players have been fatally beaned by pitches. Baseball will never be without risk.
you mean like, "i'm too insipid to operate this device, so i need a written warning so i can't sue the manufacturer," type warning?"
obama needs a new "warning csar," maybe you are available...
“Wood bats cost a fortune now”
$29.95 from amazon.com including free shipping:
In constant-dollar terms, ash baseball bats are cheaper than when I was a kid.
“The MLB180 bat, for instance, is made of professional-grade ash, pound for pound the strongest timber available. Ash offers a flexibility that isn’t found in other timbers, including maple, resulting in a barrel that tends to flex rather than break. This gives you a larger, more forgiving sweet spot in terms of breakage. In addition, ash is lighter than maple, so players can choose from among several large-barrel sizes. It all adds up to a terrific choice for casual players who love the look and feel of a genuine wood bat, or professionals who value a high-quality bat performance.”
“you mean like, “i’m too insipid to operate this device, so i need a written warning so i can’t sue the manufacturer,” type warning?”
No, an “if used as intended this bat may sometimes cause fatal injury” warning.
Reminds me of two really stupid product suits brought against manufacturers.
1). The Ametek “Big Boy” washing machine was huge, in laundromats and a big favorite with the Army. Front Load, stick your arm in and try to grab wet clothes before it stops spinning and you might lose everything up to the shoulder.
They pay a clown to find and remove them all to stop the liability suits. Clown re-sells some he was paid to remove and guess what, the deep pockets get sued, not the clown.
Worse, the machines had been “fixed” so the drum wouldn’t stop spinning when the door was opened.
2. Guy injures himself trimming his hedge with a gas powered lawnmower and sues the manufacturer because there was no warning label telling him not to pick it and try to trim a hedge with it.
This stuff didn’t happen yesterday, both cases are from the ‘70s IIRC.
Last 34” bat I bought was $3, and it was a Louisville Slugger.
You can check out the cost of blanks at Woodcraft.
The story about “high quality” ash, the tight grained stuff from the Adirondacks was written at least two decades ago. First one I saw anyway, the good wood was running out.
Wooden bats break easier now because they are harvesting newer growth timber that grew faster and has larger annual rings.
I don’t have an opinion on this verdict. But, the baseball league ordered the aluminum bats, and the company was only providing them with what they wanted.
That said, as a parent of a young baseball player, I wish they didn’t use aluminum bats. The ball is hit off that kind of bat harder. Then, when there’s some lightening, the kids have to stop playing. I never knew baseball was so dangerous until my son started playing. I wish he’d play basketball instead. ;-)
“should .45 cal. ammo be banned because it is more harmful to a human body than .22 ammo?”
If you are entitled under the law to use deadly force to protect yourself, you are also entitled to do it in an effective way. .45 is certainly more effective than a .22
I assume that amateur baseball coaches aren’t choosing metal bats as the most effective way to kill their players. They are just looking for an easy way to save a few hundred dollars a season, that also happens to be tragically shortsighted.
This is the type of idiotic lawsuit that is killing the country.
They don't sound the same, but I never broke one (sharp ends and all that).
I don't see them as any more dangerous than a kid who can really wallop the ball.
The rest is up to the reaction time of the defensive players.
I am not sure if you understand the game of baseball. I think it would be difficult for the pitcher to read the warning on a bat.
This is the type of ruling that begs to be overturned on appeal. The game of Baseball is inherently risky. I believe that the kid's parents probably signed a release in order for the kid to play, holding the league and the sponsors free of liability in the event of injury or death caused by the inherent risk of the game. IE: the batted ball hit me in the head and killed me. This left the bat manufacturer as the only pockets left to pick.
Louisville Slugger should have counter sued. The kid obviously was not qualified to play in the league. A better pitcher would have been able to field his position.
This is the litigious society at work. The fact is that this kids death was a freak accident. As tragic as it is there is no true liability for anybody, but once you contact a lawyer they will do anything to get paid. When you enter a court room their is inevitably three lawyer in there with you. The prosecuting or plaintiff's lawyer, the defense lawyer, and the judge. The judge is there to make sure that the other two lawyers get paid. By the way, Coffee is supposed to be hot, darn near the boiling point, at least 180 deg this helps with the aroma and flavor by releasing the oils in the coffee. Almost all major vendors and your own home coffee machine is set to brew between 175 - 195 deg. The jury award was significantly reduced by the trial judge, and that award was appealed by McDonald's. McDonald's decided to settle out of court for an undisclosed, but reportedly significantly smaller amount of money. Most similar cases are tossed out of hand by the judge. McDonalds still brews its coffee at these temperatures, but has significantly sterner and more numerous warnings on the lid and cup.
When I was a kid in the 70’s we HAD to use wooden bats. They wouldn’t allow aluminum because they were afraid they would break and travel like a missle.
Are you serious? This is nuts! If the kid could play baseball he probably wouldn’t have got hurt! Accidents happen! That’s like saying a ticked ball beans a kid, seriously injures the kid and it’s the balls fault or the baseball makers fault because they made it too hard!!!!
Cost aside, pitchers should be taught to end their motion with the glove open in the vicinity of their neck.
I played fast-pitch softball...didn't pitch as fast as in baseball of course, but I was a lot closer to the batter.
Dad started teaching me to pitch when I was about eight years old. He was a baseball player, but alas had only daughters. One of the main things that he did was to rifle the ball back at me immediately to make certain that the natural end of my pitching motion was to end up with that glove protecting my head, upper chest, and neck.
I also endured hours of having line drives hit directly at me to help my reaction time.
By the time I was pitching H.S. Varsity at 14 years old, I had been the unhappy recipient of several fat lips, a couple of black eyes when I tipped it off of the end of the glove, a pair of broken glasses, and shin bones that probably look like a golf ball for all of the dents.
However, when it came time for the game situation, I was always able to catch or deflect the line drives that threatened my upper body. Many times, my GLOVE was thrown back into my face or neck when I caught one...and I will be honest...I took a couple of good ones off the legs when I couldn't dance out of the way.
That said, odd accidents still happen; but good pitching technique would help to alleviate some of the problem.
If I were on the jury, I would have just said the kid sucked at playing baseball or he shouldn't have been pitching. Some people shouldn't do certain things. In this case, the attorney shouldn't be allowed to tell he client, he can make millions for them. At the same time, I'm sure this scumbag attorney made between 25 and 50% of the winnings.
Sue themselves for not teaching the dummy to duck or put his glove up to protect himself! Stupid entitlement whore parents, some money makes it alllllll better.
Baseball needs a couple of rule changes. It should be played only with Nerf products, and only that way until we come up with a safer substitute. It should be played only at night to avoid sunburn, and on a specially padded field so that no one scrapes their skin sliding into home. We should do away with the competition of scoring runs and have the boys run in circles as in "Duck-Duck-Goose", or better yet, walk in circles in case one of the boys has an undetected heart problem. Think of all the improvements we can make that will eliminate risk.
I'm going to go have a nice cup of warm McDonald's coffee and think about other changes we can make to keep our kids safe.
Maybe they should just make them out of balsa wood and use wiffle balls sheesh.
Those jurors should be ashamed of themselves and those lawyers need to see those bats... up real close.
in·sip·id (n-spd) adj.
1. Lacking flavor or zest; not tasty.
2. Lacking qualities that excite, stimulate, or interest; boring.
[French insipide, from Late Latin nsipidus : Latin in-, not; see in-1 + Latin sapidus, savory (from sapere, to taste; see sep- in Indo-European roots).]
Eagles2003... I recall reading about a lawsuit (also in the ‘70s, I think) where parents of a young child and their ambulance chaser sued a ceiling fan manufacturer.
They were awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars by some dumb ass jurors. The suit was brought because the fan in their house did not have a warning label that indicated the blades could cause injury when running.
The injury occurred because the brainless dad was standing up and tossing his toddler up in the air a bit, like most of us dads have done. However, this idiot tossed the kid into the running ceiling fan and caused bad head injuries.
They walk among us... and they breed.
Okay, we’ve gone over the cliff, place your pillow behind your head and kiss your...... goodbye.
You might want to ask Steve Yeager about how safe wood bats are.
John Grisham has an interesting take on this controversy in his book “The Appeal”
I think the solution is composite bats carefully tested to match the performance of baseline wood bats. I agree aluminum bats are a bad idea.