Aluminum Baseball Bat Lawsuit Settlement Highlights Children’s Sports Injuries

by John Chapman

A New Jersey teen who suffered permanent brain damage after being struck by a ball hit with a metal baseball bat will receive $14.5 million to settle his personal injury lawsuit against the bat manufacturer, a sporting goods chain and Little League Baseball. Steve Domalewski, now aged 18, was pitching in a youth baseball game in June 2006 when the batter rocketed a line drive off the metal bat he was using directly into Steve’s chest. The hard-hit ball knocked him backward. He crumpled to the ground and stopped breathing.

The ball had hit Steve right above his heart at the precise millisecond between heartbeats, sending him into cardiac arrest. By the time emergency services resuscitated him, his brain had been without oxygen for 15 to 20 minutes. He was later diagnosed with severe and permanent brain damage.

In 2009, a Montana jury awarded the family of an 18 year-old killed when he was struck by a ball hit with an aluminum bat $850,000 in their lawsuit against the makers of the Louisville Slugger bat. In 2011, an Oklahoma jury awarded the family of a 15 year-old boy $951,000 after he was severely injured when struck in the face by a line drive hit off of a Louisville Slugger aluminum bat.

These verdicts and settlements highlight the risks inherent in youth sports. According to the National Center for Sports Safety, more than 3.5 million children ages 14 and under receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year. Sports and recreational injuries account for 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among children in the United States. Most organized sports related injuries (62 percent) occur during practices rather than games.

If your child has been injured or killed as a result of a sports injury, you may have a right to seek compensation. To find out if you may have a case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out our free online case evaluation form.