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Baseball Lawsuit: Warning labels on bats?

 
 
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 12:54 pm
Isn't it obvious that there is an inherent risk to playing baseball?

Quote:
Mont. jury awards $850,000 in aluminum bat lawsuit

By MATT GOURAS (AP) " 1 day ago

HELENA, Mont. " 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.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 10 • Views: 3,070 • Replies: 18

 
McGentrix
 
  6  
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 01:04 pm
This is why we can't have nice things.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 01:06 pm
@McGentrix,
For once I can say LOL and actually mean it!
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  2  
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 04:07 pm
How would the warning label read?
(I confess this is the kind of issue where my conservative brethren and I almost have a meeting of the minds.)
I'm sorry the young man is dead, but was it the first pitch he ever threw against a batter with an aluminum bat?
(Who okayed in the first place the use of such a monstrosity? Aluminum lobbyists?)

I went to a Marathon Seminar last night at the Hospital of Joint Diseases at NYU. Very interesting. Ten doctors and a Physical Trainer talked to us for almost three hours about injuries, therapies, Exercise Collapse Syndrome and much, much more including the statistic that 1 out of every 50-70,000 marathon runners die while IN a marathon.
(The marathon is Sunday morning.)
Cheery news, yes? No?
No one seemed dissuaded. Not me either.

Steve Jones, who in 1984 set the World Record for a Marathon, was there. He said, after listening to the experts, that if he had known marathon racing was so dangerous he might have considered racing at NASCAR instead. heh heh.

I know somewhere in my application for Sunday's run there is a multi-paragraph disclaimer with my assent on it. I'm sure it covers everything from me dying from exertion to getting hit by a meteor near Marcus Garvey Park and that's the point. Life is full of dangers, playing or participating in a sport increases the chances of injury. That's a fact. We decide to play and we take ALL the responsibility for our own existence upon ourselves. And I'm sure that the young man either signed a similar document or his parents did.

I hope Louisville Slugger appeals. All they did was make a cheaper bat. The kid and the parents knew. There isn't any chance that they didn't know. (They also knew, if the right scout saw their kiddo, he might be signing for forty million dollars for his first year out of college. So it goes.) Are they claiming that no pitcher has ever been hit in the head by a ball off a wooden bat? Wha?

Cut it out. Play ball.
Cut it out. On your mark...get set...the cannon fires.

Forgive this rant. I'm wound pretty tight these days.

Joe(spriong!)Nation
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 04:16 pm
@engineer,
I know a lawyer here in Chicago who is positioning himself to be the lead plaintiff's lawyer for persons claiming injuries as the result of aluminum bats (we're in litigation with him -- he's a turd of a person). He has all of the various scientific studies which "prove" that aluminum bats are deadly killers. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if these studies were sponsored by the lumber industry.

As a result of lawsuits like this, we're now seeing little league players wearing batting helmets while playing in the field. Makes one wonder how any of us survived into adulthood.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 04:19 pm
@joefromchicago,
I got my first aluminum bat when I was 7 (still remember it)

and I'm old.

I also got it because it hit harder than wood.

McG is spot on...
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Sat 31 Oct, 2009 07:56 am
@joefromchicago,
In Law School (and I'm trying to find the case online, but I can't), for Product Liability class, we mock tried a real case of a bat weight (donut) smacking a guy in the mouth because it flew off his teammate's bat (the guy with the donut was in the on-deck circle and the victim was standing too close -- I don't think this was a pickup game; I seem to recall it was some sort of weekend adult league but not a professional one). My side was defense (manufacturing). Even had a guy playing Elston Howard (the inventor of the bat weight) called as an expert witness. My "colleagues" wanted to demo by using a Louisville slugger, etc. -- I convinced them that they wouldn't know what could happen and could potentially really hurt somebody. We had the real donut (it was flat and cylindrical, and a part of the casing had come off, so in the real case it was lead on aluminum, hence a rather friction-free experience) and everything.

Fortunately there wasn't enough time to do the demo. I recall everyone was falling asleep (this mock trial went on for some eight hours) and I had to do the closing. I guess I did a good job -- I guess we all did -- as we were voted winners by 3/6 panels and for the other 3 panels we lost but had to pay nada.

But this was back in '85, and I believe now that bat weights (when used) are more tapered now.

**** does happen, but athletes also assume some risk. And manufacturers can also be protected from players either doing things deliberately or acting in a manner expertly referred to as boneheaded.

PS I have no idea how the original case ended; it may have been settled.

PPS Joe, did you study this case? I recall it was in my Torts textbook. Not completely on point, but related.
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Oct, 2009 09:04 am

next up:
warning labels on baseballs...
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Oct, 2009 11:55 am
Absurd. And what kind of a cockamamie jury would make this award?
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 31 Oct, 2009 02:40 pm
@jespah,
That's nothing. I had to represent Mr. Wile E. Coyote, and this was a Literature class!

Coyote vs. Acme, Plaintiff's Opening Statement


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

by Ian Frazier, The New Yorker Magazine, 26 February 1990

Also in Ian Frazier's book, Coyote v. Acme, originally published in June 1996

Amazon.com



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

SOUTHWESTERN DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
Tempe, Arizona

Judge Joan Kujava, Presiding

________________________________ WILE E. COYOTE, §
Plaintiff §
v. § CIVIL ACTION NO. B19294
§
ACME COMPANY, §
Defendant §
________________________________

OPENING STATEMENT OF HAROLD SCHOFF,

COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF

By Mr. Schoff:

My client, Mr. Wile E. Coyote, a resident of Arizona and contiguous states, does hearby bring suit for damages against the Acme Company, manufacturer and retail distributor of assorted merchandise, incorporated in Delaware and doing business in every state, district, and territory. Mr. Coyote seeks compensation for personal injuries, loss of business income, and mental suffering caused as a direct result of the actions and/or gross negligence of said company, under Title 15 of the United States Code Chapter 47, section 2072, subsection (a), relating to product liability.

Mr. Coyote states that on eighty-five separate occasions, he has purchased of the Acme Company (hereinafter, 'Defendant'), through that company's mail order department, certain products which did cause him bodily injury due to defects in manufacture or improper cautionary labeling. Sales slips made out to Mr. Coyote as proof of purchase are at present in the possession of the Court, marked Exhibit A. Such injuries sustained by Mr. Coyote have temporarily restricted his ability to make a living in the profession of predator. Mr. Coyote is self-employed and thus not eligible for Workmen's Compensation.

Mr. Coyote states that on December 13th, he received of Defendant via parcel post one Acme Rocket Sled. The intention of Mr. Coyote was to use the Rocket sled to aid him in pursuit of his prey. Upon receipt of the Rocket Sled, Mr. Coyote removed it from its wooden shipping crate and sighting his prey in the distance, activated the ignition. As Mr. Coyote gripped the handlebars, the Rocket Sled accelerated with such sudden and precipitate force as to stretch Mr. Coyote's forelimbs to a length of fifteen feet. Subsequently, the rest of Mr. Coyote's body shot forward with a violent jolt, causing severe strain to his back and neck and placing him unexpectedly astride the Rocket Sled. Disappearing over the horizon at such speed as to leave a diminishing jet trail along its path, the Rocket Sled soon brought Mr. Coyote abreast of his prey. At that moment, the animal he was pursuing veered sharply to the right. Mr. Coyote vigorously attempted to follow this maneuver but was unable to, due to poor design and engineering on the Rocket Sled and a faulty or non-existent steering system. Shortly thereafter, the unchecked progress of the Rocket Sled led it and Mr. Coyote into collision with the side of a mesa.

Paragraph One of the Report of Attending Physician (Exhibit B), prepared by Dr. Ernst Grosscup, M.D., D.O., details the multiple fractures, contusions, and tissue damage suffered by Mr. Coyote as a result of this collision. Repair of the injuries required a full bandage around the head (excluding the ears), a neck brace, and full or partial casts on all four legs. Hampered by these injuries, Mr. Coyote was nevertheless obliged to support himself. With this in mind, he purchased of Defendant as an aid to mobility one pair of Acme Rocket Skates. When he attempted to use this product, however, he became involved in an accident remarkably similar to that which occurred with the Rocket Sled. Again, Defendant sold over the counter, without caveat, a product which attached powerful jet engines (in this case, two) to inadequate vehicles, with little or no provision for passenger safety. Encumbered by his heavy casts, Mr. Coyote lost control of the Rocket Skates soon after strapping them on, and collided with a roadside billboard so violently as to leave a hole in the shape of his full silhouette.

Mr. Coyote states that on occasions too numerous to list in this document he has suffered mishaps with explosives purchased of Defendant: the Acme 'Little Giant' Firecracker, the Acme Self-Guided Aerial Bomb, etc. (For a full listing see the Acme Mail Order Explosives Catalogue and attached deposition, entered in evidence as Exhibit C.) Indeed, it is safe to say that not once has an explosive purchased of Defendant by Mr. Coyote performed in an expected manner. To cite just one example: At the expense of much time and personal effort, Mr. Coyote constructed around the outer rim of a butte a wooden trough beginning at the top of the butte and spiraling downward around it to some few feet above a black X painted on the desert floor. The trough was designed in such a way that a spherical explosive of the type sold by Defendant would roll easily and swiftly down to the point of detonation indicated by the X. Mr. Coyote placed a generous pile of birdseed directly on the X, and then, carrying the spherical Acme Bomb (Catalogue #78) climbed to the top of the butte. Mr. Coyote's prey, seeing the birdseed, approached, and Mr. Coyote proceeded to light the fuse. In an instant, the fuse burned down to the stem, causing the bomb to detonate.

In addition to reducing all Mr. Coyote's careful preparations to naught, the premature detonation of Defendant's product resulted in the following disfigurements to Mr. Coyote:

1. Severe singeing of the hair on the head, neck, and muzzle.

2. Sooty discoloration.

3. Fracture of the left ear at the stem, causing the ear to dangle in the aftershock with a creaking noise.

4. Full or partial combustion of whiskers, producing kinking, frazzling, and ashy disintegration.

5. Radical widening of the eyes, due to brow and lid charring.

We come now to the Acme Spring-Powered Shoes. The remains of a pair of these purchased by Mr. Coyote on June 23rd are Plaintiff's Exhibit D. Selected fragments have been shipped to the metallurgical laboratories of the University of California at Santa Barbara for analysis, but to date, no explanation has been found for this product's sudden and extreme malfunction. As advertised by Defendant, this product is simplicity itself: two wood-and-metal sandals, each attached to milled-steel springs of high tensile strength and compressed in a tightly coiled position by a cocking device with a lanyard release. Mr. Coyote believed that this product would enable him to pounce upon his prey in the initial moments of the chase, when swift reflexes are at a premium.

To increase the shoes' thrusting power still further, Mr. Coyote affixed them by their bottoms to the side of a large boulder. Adjacent to the boulder was a path which Mr. Coyote's prey was known to frequent. Mr. Coyote put his hind feet in the wood-and-metal sandals and crouched in readiness, his right forepaw holding firmly to the lanyard release. Within a short time, Mr. Coyote's prey did indeed appear on the path coming toward him. Unsuspecting, the prey stopped near Mr. Coyote, well within range of the springs at full extension. Mr. Coyote gauged the distance with care and proceeded to pull the lanyard release. At this point, Defendant's product should have thrust Mr. Coyote forward and away from the boulder. Instead, for reasons yet unknown, the Acme Spring-Powered Shoes thrust the boulder away from Mr. Coyote. As the intended prey looked on unharmed, Mr. Coyote hung suspended in the air. Then the twin springs recoiled, bringing Mr. Coyote to a violent feet-first collision with the boulder, the full weight of his head and forequarters falling upon his lower extremities. The force of this impact then caused the springs to rebound, where upon Mr. Coyote was thrust skyward. A second recoil and collision followed. The boulder, meanwhile, which was roughly ovoid in shape, had begun to bounce down a hillside, the coiling and recoiling of the springs adding to its velocity. At each bounce, Mr. Coyote came into contact with the boulder, or the boulder came into contact with Mr. Coyote, or both came into contact with the ground. As the grade was a long one, this process continued for some time. The sequence of collisions resulted in systemic physical damage to Mr. Coyote, viz., flattening of the cranium, sideways displacement of the tongue, reduction of length of legs and upper body, and compression of vertebrae from base of tail to head. Repetition of blows along a vertical axis produced a series of regular horizontal folds in Mr. Coyote's body tissues, a rare and painful condition which caused Mr. Coyote to expand upward and contract downward alternately as he walked, and to emit an off-key, accordion-like wheezing with every step. The distracting and embarrassing nature of this symptom has been a major impediment to Mr. Coyote's pursuit of a normal social life.

As the court is no doubt aware, Defendant has a virtual monopoly of manufacture and the sale of goods required by Mr. Coyote's work. It is our contention that Defendant has used its market advantage to the detriment of the consumer of such specialized products as itching powder, giant kites, Burmese tiger traps, anvils, and two-hundred-foot-long rubber bands. Much as he has come to mistrust Defendant's products, Mr. Coyote has no other domestic source of supply to which to turn. One can only wonder what our trading partners in Western Europe and Japan would make of such a situation, where a giant company is allowed to victimize the consumer in the most reckless and wrongful manner over and over again. Mr. Coyote respectfully requests that the Court regard these larger economic implications and assess punitive damages in the amount of seventeen million dollars. In addition, Mr. Coyote seeks actual damages (missed meals, medical expenses, days lost from professional occupation) of one million dollars; general damages (mental suffering, injury to reputation) of twenty million dollars; and attorney's fees of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars. By awarding Mr. Coyote the full amount, this Court will censure Defendant, its directors, officers, shareholders, successors, and assigns, in the only language they understand, and reaffirm the right of the individual predator to equal protection under the law.

joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Nov, 2009 10:01 pm
@jespah,
jespah wrote:
PPS Joe, did you study this case? I recall it was in my Torts textbook. Not completely on point, but related.

Nope, never heard of it. Our cases on the concept of volenti non fit injuria came from boxing, if I recall correctly.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Sun 1 Nov, 2009 10:27 pm
@Rockhead,
Rockhead wrote:

I got my first aluminum bat when I was 7 (still remember it)

and I'm old.

I also got it because it hit harder than wood.

McG is spot on...
Did u get a bat license and register it with the police ??

That 's the important thing.

U understand that no one has a constitutional right
to play baseball, nor to possess a bat (unless he claims that it is a weapon with 2nd Amendment protection).





David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Nov, 2009 10:34 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Merry Andrew wrote:

Absurd. And what kind of a cockamamie jury would make this award?
I remember hearing of a case in the Bronx (in the 1950s ?)
wherein 2 thugs broke into a railroad yard at night
and climbed onto a train that was parked there overnight.
Thay sought to cut off and steal copper electric cable,
for the value of the copper. Thay got electrocuted
and fell off of the train. A Bronx jury gave them (or their estates)
a big 6 figure award. The jury consisted of 6 more just like them;
sorta kinda like the jury that acquited O.J.





David
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 04:53 am
@OmSigDAVID,
The stealing copper/electrocution case sounds mighty familiar; I think it may have also been in my Torts book. I'll hunt around, see if I can find the particulars.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 05:09 am
@jespah,
jespah wrote:

The stealing copper/electrocution case sounds mighty familiar;
I think it may have also been in my Torts book.
I'll hunt around, see if I can find the particulars.
Thank u; I 'd love that.





David
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 05:12 am
Hmm there's apparently a bunch of 'em (not necessarily any that went to trial, but lots of instances of copper stealing + bronx + electrocution. See: this search.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 05:20 am
@jespah,
jespah wrote:

Hmm there's apparently a bunch of 'em
(not necessarily any that went to trial,
but lots of instances of copper stealing + bronx + electrocution. See: this search.)
I guess it happened a lot.
Someone told me that the same thing happened
in Troy, NY, if I remember accurately.

Thay shoud have lost on summary judgment.
Thay woud have, if it were up to me.





David
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 08:56 am
@Merry Andrew,
Same one that gives awards to those boneheads that burn themself with hot coffee.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 08:56 am
@roger,
That had to be fun
0 Replies
 
 

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