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Jury says teenager entitled to $14.5 million for brain injury

Posted on September 1, 2012 in Brain Injury

Anyone injured in California as a result of a catastrophic injury or who has loved ones injured often faces extreme personal suffering. In addition to the physical injuries involved, they must also face the mental pain and suffering of experiencing such a traumatic event or seeing a loved one get injured or killed. The financial cost of these accidents is also high, as the victims must cope with things such as lost wages and mounting medical bills.

Recently, an 18-year-old from New Jersey was awarded $14.5 million from a lawsuit against Little League Baseball, a sporting goods chain and a manufacturer of baseball bats. The lawsuit stems from a catastrophic injury he suffered in June 2006 while playing baseball.

The teenage boy was pitching when the batter hit a line drive off of the metal bat that he was swinging. The ball hit the boy’s chest, and when he stopped to pick up the ball, he crumpled over and went into cardiac arrest. The boy was in this condition for 15 to 20 minutes, cutting off the oxygen supply to his brain.

The teenager suffered permanent brain injury as a result. The lawsuit from the boy’s family alleged that the metal baseball bats used in the game were unsafe, and thus the defendants breached a duty of care to the boy.

The Little League bans metal bats from its games for younger players, and limits its use by older players to those that are tested according to its standards. Metal bats for use by older players are subject to weight and size limits. According to the group, there are only 20 to 30 injuries to pitchers yearly, and it made an agreement with manufacturers to limit the performance of metal bats to that of the best wooden bats.

Fortunately, victims of a brain injury are entitled to just compensation for their injuries under California law. Like the boy whose life was changed with one swing of the bat, victims in California can recover damages not only from the defendant, but also from an insurance company. Those injured can recover fair compensation for medical bills, wages lost during recovery and potential future earnings, which can help injured parties and their family deal with the unfortunate consequences of such catastrophic injuries.

Source: New York Times, “Lawsuit Against Little League over Metal Bats is Settled,” August 22, 2012