“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Wood or aluminum


The outcome of this case will ripple throughout youth sports across the U.S......

Two years ago, Steven Domalewski was pitching when the ball slammed into his chest and stopped his heart. He was resuscitated but now has brain damage and is severely disabled.

The family contends metal baseball bats are inherently unsafe for youth games because the ball comes off them much faster than from wooden bats. The lawsuit will also be filed against Little League Baseball and a sporting goods chain that sold the bat.

Here's the thing: Point 1--this aluminum bat issue has been around for years. There's no way the parents can claim they didn't know baseballs hit by aluminum bats go faster and farther than off wooden bats, or that pitchers and third basemen are at the highest risk for injury. Point 2--all sporting goods stores sell chest protectors for little-league pitchers to prevent this exact thing--my son wore one for a season or two. Point 3--all youth sports come with the rare, but inherent risks of catastrophic injury. Point 4--every ball park in America makes parents sign a form stating acknowledgement of the risks of participation. Point 5--if being in possession of all this information, the parents still allowed their son to pitch without protection, do they not bear the responsibility for their son's injury more so than any other party? 

Their smarmy lawyer will wait until the jury is seated, dramatically wheel the poor kid into the courtroom, give the grieving mom the cry cue, and then argue that there is a reasonable expectation of safety for a kid playing baseball, but is there? The answer is no, there isn't. All youth sports are dangerous to some degree and we as parents have to weigh the risks against the benefits, the same as we do with all activities. They knew the risks yet took no steps to protect their child. I don't see how the manufacturer can be held financially responsible for their failure to parent.   

Somehow I doubt the twelve emotional dummies in the jury box will see it that way. They'll feel sorry for the mom and the kid and award them millions. As a result, aluminum bats will be banned in most ballparks for fear of liability.....all because this family decided to take their shot at hitting the lottery rather than accepting the responsibility for their kid's injury.  

5 comments:

Kevin said...

Point 6-- Ed you forgot this one. Wooden bats break. They break into little jagged splinters. I would much rather be hit with a ball than a jagged piece of wood. If you are that scared of your child being on the wrong end of a tragic accident, then take all of the furniture out of his room, pad the walls, and lock him in, because he is just as likely to die on a baseball field as he is in his own home.

Point here is, accidents happen, but wooden bats are more dangerous than aluminum ones. Wood breaks, aluminum doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Children cannnot be protected from freak accidents. Yes, this is terrible for this family; however, since the article says the child was pitching I am going to assume that the player and his family knew that a high velocity injury was indeed a possibility. The bottom line is that bats, whether metal or wood will continue to be used by baseball players regardless of the outcome of this case, they will just cost a little more!

Kevin said...

Another good case of trial lawyers screwing over the economy.

Bobby T said...

The truly sad issue here is that these parents have been coerced into believing that any money they receive will help them offset having a healthy and mobile child. It won't! This case is the epitome of where our judicial system has failed and where we as a culture are failing our kids.

These kids have all grown up with bicycle helmets. There is nothing that will not be done to help protect and passify children. I am all for safety, but there are inherent risks in all sports participation. As my generation grew up, none of us would have ever dreamed of donning a bike helmet, and would have ridiculed the poor child that was forced by his/her parents to wear one. If children sign up to play baseball, now, everyone makes a team, everyone gets a trophy, and everyone is good. Back in the day, multiple kids couldn't participate, strictly from lack of ability. (The winning team got a trophy, only. Not everyone was good, some actually stunk, but that was okay as well.)They either focused on getting better, or moved on to something else. No law suit, no hurt feelings. People coped with situations and dealt with them accordingly.

I hurt for these parents. I pray that their marriage will be strong enough to withstand this devastating blow and that they can find a happier life, but I am completely opposed to the lawsuit. If ones daughter doesn't make cheerleading, do we sue? What are we teaching the children?

The next generation as I see it, will mostly be filled with people who can play Nintendo and Xbox not football and baseball; Text but not talk; hear but not comprehend; read but not understand!

I wish the family well. I hope this lawyer rots in hell.The situation while tragic is not unprecedented. Look at Darryl Stingley, Dale Earnhart, and Tony Conigliaro. Both suffered career ending injuries (Stingley never walked again, Earnhart died), but amazingly no frivilous lawsuits against anyone or any manufacturer. Adjustments were made and rules were altered to prevent these situations from reoccurring, but that is all.

Judge, please tell these folks to crawl back under their rock and hush!

Kevin said...

There is this idea that anytime something terrible happens, someone is held responsible, that isn't the "victim." One thing that really pisses me off about trial lawyering is that it has become the social norm that if something tragic happens to you or your family, money will fix the problem. It won't. Money is not going to bring back your dead family member, it won't make the car wreck magically never happen, it won't make that baseball miss your child. Accidents happen, and most of the time there is no scapegoat.