VERDICT AGAINST LOUISVILLE SLUGGER UPHELD
Almost missed this story coming out of Montana…
Last week, a Montana judge refused to toss a jury verdict against Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of the Louisville Slugger baseball bat. In 2003, Brandon Patch, an American Legion baseball player was killed when he was struck on the head by a ball hit off an aluminum Louisville Slugger bat. Brandon’s parents sued in 2006, alleging the bat was “unreasonably dangerous”. In addition, they alleged that the manufacturer failed to properly warn of the dangers associated with the bat.
In October, 2009, a Helena jury returned a jury verdict for Brandon’s parents. The jury ruled that although the bat was not defective, the warnings were inadequate. In November, attorneys for Hillerich & Bradsby moved to throw the verdict out claiming that there was no evidence Patch would have acted differently had he been properly warned.
The trial judge denied the motion. The court ruled that “…the jury may have properly inferred from the evidence that a warning would have been heeded and the failure to warn caused the injury.” No word on whether an appeal of the jury verdict is planned…but I can’t imagine the bat manufacturer will simply give up. There are lots of aluminum bats being used on baseball diamonds all over America every spring and summer. The potential exposure is enormous.