Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Trial Set for Baseball Bat Lawsuit

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Trial Set for Baseball Bat Lawsuit

Article excerpt

A lawsuit claiming the maker of Louisville Slugger bats, a sports retailer and youth baseball organizers are responsible for the brain damage a Wayne boy suffered when he was hit by a ball while pitching in a 2006 Little League game will go to trial next month, a judge has ruled.

Trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 10 in state Superior Court in Paterson.

The lawsuit, filed in 2008, has drawn attention to the possible risks of using lightweight aluminum bats in youth games. Critics have claimed balls hit with a metal bat travel faster than with a wooden bat and have questioned whether they should be considered safe for Little League use.

Steven Domalewski's heartbreaking injury made headlines and drew attention and sympathy from families, lawmakers and professional baseball players. Since Steven was injured, his father, Joseph, has been speaking out against the bats. Several North Jersey towns banned non-wood bats and the New York City Council banned non-wood bats in high school games.

Joseph Domalewski was late for an appointment when he was contacted Friday morning and did not comment on the judge's ruling.

The Domalewski family sued bat maker Hillerich & Bradsby Co., of Kentucky; national retailer The Sports Authority Inc.; Little League Inc.; and New Jersey Little League, claiming, among other things, that the bat wasn't sufficiently tested to ensure its safety and its marketing violated the state Consumer Fraud Act.

The defendants named by the Domalewskis, in turn, sued to bring the Wayne Police Athletic League into the case as a third-party defendant. The other defendants accused the PAL of gross negligence in failing to properly maintain its baseball facility; lacking a written safety plan; and not providing adequate first aid.

Superior Court Judge Garry S. Rothstadt disagreed that the PAL had been at fault and dismissed it from the lawsuit. …

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