Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Little Leaguer Sued

A woman in Manchester County N.J. is suing a 13 year old for $150,000 over an incident at a Little League game two years ago. According to the story the woman was sitting at a picnic table when an errant throw from the nearby bullpen hit her in the face.

The key allegation was that the youngster was “engaging in inappropriate physical and/or sporting activity.” I believe this claims that the youngster, a catcher warming up a pitcher, engaged in activity beyond simply throwing the ball back to the pitcher. How they’re going to demonstrate that should be interesting. The husband is also suing for the loss of his wife’s services (*ahem*).

I find the comments on these kind of stories more illuminating than the story. We have a unanimous verdict here that this is a frivolous lawsuit and that the woman and her husband should be run out of town on a rail after being tarred and feathered.

I hate to be the voice of reason (as it seems I'm always in the tiny minority) but while this sounds like a ridiculous lawsuit, and it may well be, it may not be as well. First of all, everyone appears to be assuming that the couple were spectators at the game but there is nothing in the story to justify that assumption. It could be they were simply sitting at a picnic table near the field and not paying attention to the game. If that's the case, then getting hit by an errant throw is bit more understandable. The hubby’s count appears to be a standard ploy when the wife is hurt. When my daughter was sued a few years ago due to a minor fender bender in which a woman claimed her neck was injured they threw in this count as well.

As for the delay, it could be that they weren’t looking to sue anyone until the medical bills started piling up. I don’t know what their insurance situation is and neither do any of the people leaving comments.

They’re also all overlooking the “intentional” claim. Even the dad says “if his son was horsing around” he would feel differently. Kids “horsing around” at Little League is not unheard of.

So, while this sounds like the kind of case that should get tossed, I think I will reserve judgment because I don’t know all the facts. If it turns out, as ludicrous as it may sound, that there is justification for the lawsuit, I’m betting it will be covered by their homeowners insurance and get settled out of court. Which of course means all the rest of us will take a little hit on our homeowners insurance (*sigh*).

The key point here is that so many people are coming to a hard conclusion without knowing all the facts. I seem to encounter this more and more. Maybe it was always this way, but it seems to me that’s not so. The big problem of course is that once people arrive at a conclusion, it can be very difficult to budge them away from that conclusion regardless of how unwarranted that conclusion was in the first place.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I said something similar and my co-worker thought I was nuts.

My understanding is that she could get no settlement for reconstructive surgery from insurance and the boy's father seems to think the little league should pay for the defense.