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New Jersey Metal Bat Lawsuit Ends in $14 Million Settlement


September 13, 2012
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The family of a Wayne, New Jersey teenager will receive $14 million to help care for their son who suffered a debilitating injury during a 2006 Little League game. The New Jersey sports lawsuit had garnered national attention and increased scrutiny of the use of metal bats.

Steven Domalewski suffered permanent brain damage when he was struck by a screaming line drive off a metal bat. The baseball struck him in the chest in the millisecond between heartbeats, which made his heart stop and deprived his brain of oxygen. The resulting brain damage has left him severely handicapped.

His family subsequently filed lawsuit against the manufacturer of the aluminum bats Louisville Slugger, retailer The Sports Authority, Little League, Inc., and New Jersey Little League. It claimed that the metal bat posed an unreasonable risk of harm and that the defendants failed to properly test the metal bat to ensure it was safe for Little League games.

The case highlights the growing liability risks faced by youth sports organizations. Just last month, we discussed the personal injury lawsuit against a New Jersey Little League player accused of injuring a spectator with an errant throw on Scarinci Hollenbeck’s Business Law Blog.