Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hit by Baseball, Parents Sue

A small news item caught my attention this morning; it was on HLN as well. An 18 year old Montana boy was hit by a baseball and died from the blow. His parents sued Louisville Slugger, maker of the bat, insisting that the company doesn't inform people well enough that balls hit by aluminum bats travel faster and with more power than wood bats. They not only won the suit, they were awarded $850,000!

To begin with, I feel so sad for these people who lost their beloved son at only 18. I can't imagine the depth of their loss. No amount of money would be enough compensation.

However, to blame Louisville Slugger is outrageous. Anyone over the age of 12 knows that being beaned in the head by a baseball, no matter what kind of bat hit it or who threw it, will definitely result in serious injury. That's why players wear helmets and why now even coaches in children's leagues along the first and third base lines are required to wear helmets. Also, softball coaches must wear them now because "everyone" knows softballs aren't really soft.

Until today I would have said it's common knowledge that aluminum bats are extra powerful and therefore controversial. The lesson is that people either pay attention or sit behind the screen to stay safe. As for players, they must be particularly mindful of the dangers of the game.

I don't know more about the circumstances of this young man's death, but I am outraged that Louisville Slugger is being blamed. It reeks to me of a case of looking for "deep pockets." The company will be hurt irreparably by this case and it won't help the parents at all. Their son will not come back and their grief will not be assuaged.

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