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October 29th, 2009
08:37 AM ET

Family Wins Aluminum Bat Lawsuit

A Montana jury says baseball players aren’t being adequately warned about the dangers of aluminum bats. Brandon Patch died in 2003 after a ball hit off an aluminum bat hit him in the head. His family sued the maker of Louisville Slugger bats, arguing that aluminum bats are dangerous because they cause baseballs to travel at higher speeds. The jury sided with the family, and awarded them $850,000. Debbie Patch says she hopes this decision will make more youth baseball leagues switch to using wooden bats.

Post your thoughts on this story here. Heidi will read some of them on the air during the show, 9am to 11am et.


Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. Charlie

    I'm sure being hit by any high velocity baseball, be it from a wooden or aluminum bat, will be enough to kill you. It's very tragic, but also so improbable that people don't give it any thought.

    Any numbers on the velocity of baseball from wooden versus aluminum bat? I'm sure any doctors will be along to say "this is lethal", or "this is not".

    For solutions, there's always helmets, but it would interfere with peripheral vision required for ball-catching...

    October 29, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  2. stephen

    Wow, now we can have an ever useful lable similar to "Coffee is hot". Here's a tip kids, a flying baseball hitting you in the head may kill you. It dosent take a label to know that, just common sense.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  3. Paul

    Another example of the absurdity of US tort litigation.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  4. paul

    just another frivoilous lawsuit and another case of I am not responsible for my actions.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  5. JB

    Another great example of people refusing to take repsonsibility for their own actions. If you play baseball, you are accepting the risks. At this rate, if I cut my hand while cutting vegetables for dinner, I should sue the maker of the knife. When are we going to all wake up and start taking responisibilty for our own actions? Just one more example of the downfall of our society.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  6. Luke

    THIS IS RIDICULOUS! when you play the sport, you are taking the risk. don't blame the maker of the bat. it was an accident!

    October 29, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  7. Jayrod

    Baseball. Simple premise. A person throws a ball, someone else hits it. The harder they hit it, the better off the often are. Someone made a great connection, and it's somehow Louisville Slugger's fault for building a wonderful product? I bet that kid LOVED using aluminum bats. I did. Everyone I knew did as well.

    Glad they won a jury jackpot. Hope they're never happy.

    This deserves the "frivolous lawsuit" stamp.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  8. john

    i agree with luke. you take the risk when you play the sport. im sorry for the loss of life but dont blame a bat maker. thats just wrong.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  9. m rizzuto

    This is reeeeeeediculous...

    The parents should sue themselves for allowing their child to leave the safety of their home and play a game. The fact that these people were allowed to sue an institution of america's national passtime because their kid couldn't catch is a symbol of everything that is wrong with this great country... This is as dumb as not affording every individual health care.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  10. Mike

    Although tragic, it's absolutely rediculous this should be blamed on the Bat Maker.
    The players, and most importantly, parents should be aware of potential injuries/accidents that could happen when their kids play sports ( at any age ).
    This sets a unfair precident.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  11. James Hanchett

    This story is tragic however the award of a settlement is outrageous. Baseball just like many sports has inherent risks involved. I played baseball for 16 years and I was the only player in my senior league to use wood bats. They are much heavier than aluminum, and yes, the ball does travel further/faster with aluminum. There isn't a coach out there that doesn't say "keep your head in the game". All players know to keep their eyes on the ball at all times. Don't sue the great American past time especially as "we" the fans of the game are enjoying the World Series even though both of my teams lost in the LCSs.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  12. donnie

    The need to blame someone for every unfortunate accidental death in this country is out of control. Every sport contains some risk. I bet we can find a case where a baseball player died in a similar situation using a wooden bat back in the old days.

    It's tragic, but sometimes there is no one to blame. This should be the case in this situation.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  13. Mike Reis

    Hey Heidi, why don't you report that 911 was an inside job instead of little stories about baseball bats? Keep putting highlights in your hair while criminals run our government, mainstream media is bought and sold like a cheap hooker.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  14. Jeff in Florida

    Are you kidding me? So how did the lawyer prove to the jury that he wouldn't have died from the same hit coming off a wooden bat? This is right up there with the lady that sued McDonalds and won because she was a klutz and spilled her coffee.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  15. Irshad Mohamed

    That's crazy, I'm 40 and I remember aluminum bats back in the 80's. We always had them at our family picnic. Every knows what they do that's why they are used, especially if a kid needs a little help with power. I feel terrible for the family and my heart goes out for thier loss. Truly it does... but you can't blame the bat maker a US company that has a long and great reputation and doubtless employs quite a few people, that's like suing McDonalds for coffee that is too hot. Enough with taking advantage of a tragedy for $$$. The family should not take the money.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  16. Armando de jesus

    When I coached little league you had a choice of using Aluminum or wood, I do not believe that has changed. Accidents happen, to blame a bat is crazy. It is right up there with warning people hot coffee is hot.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  17. jaime flecha

    as a former little league baseball coach

    this has been long overdue

    there is a huge diffrence in the speed of the ball coming off the bat.

    they should be banned all together for the saftey of the kids.

    my son was a big kid and i was always affraid that he would hurt somone

    thx

    October 29, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  18. Brand D

    I think this lawsuit is absolutely ridiculous and I have lost more faith in our judicial system. If a drunk driver hits your car, you don't sue the automobile maker. I know the family is hurt but this was obviously some freak accident. I could even understand of he was beaten with the bat, but being hit with a ball that was hit off this bat... that's a stretch and this family exploited their son's death to become $850,000 richer.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  19. shawn hunter

    I think the lawsuit is CRAZY, the bat didn't kill the boy the ball did. It could of kill him if he was using a wooden bat, it is all the matter where the ball had struck the boy in the head. We are a country now where everyone wants to fatten their pockets with outlandish lawsuits, I do feel for the parents fo their loss. You just can't blame the bat company for an accident just because the ball travels faster of an aluminum bat then a wooden one.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  20. David

    As much as I hope that this tragedy is not repeated; fluke accidents do occur.
    The dangerous precedent here, typically why many of these cases are kept in courts seemingly forever, is the culpabilty of a manufacture on what was the intended use of their product. Gun, car, plane, almost every manufacture would be at risk here.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  21. Phil Salibello

    It's terrible that the family lost their child, but this country is out of control with ridiculous lawsuits and settlements. One buys an aluminum bat for the specific reason that it hits the ball faster/farther. How about suing golf club manufacturing for making better clubs. What about the grave risk of a person's fist when applied with force to another person's body? Should hands be tattooed like rear view mirrors of their potential danger? The rest of the world is laughing at this country, and with due cause.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  22. jakky

    Heidi,

    This is ridiculous!! Is there no more room for personal responsiblity? This is how lawyers have made America unliveable with frivolous law suits. Someobody who goes to buy coffee from McDonalds does not expect it will be hot? As far as I know there is no cold coffee from Macdonalds. America wake up!!!

    October 29, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  23. Ron

    I sympathize for the family, but I don't see how winning lots of money is going to help alleviate their pain. Insane verdict, a mockery of our judicial system.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  24. Rocky Carr

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? I sympathize with the family who lost their son, but this was an accident! A terrible accident, yes, but still just an accident. A printed warning on the bat would have made NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER, just as a warning on a coffee cup doesn't stop people from buying hot coffee.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  25. T. Beach

    This, overall is an embracement to our court system. There is always a risk when participating in any sports activity. The family, although has gone through a tragic loss, is just looking for someone to blame. The American public needs to quit finding a scapegoat for every little thing that happens......and the fact that we keep awarding these people large sums of money is just detrimental to our country. I am sorry for the family, but by awarding them money for this is no excuse. Americans need to get off their high horse and sometimes just admit things happen for no reason and their can't be someone to blame for every event. These are the same people (or type of people) that probably wonder and complain why our health care system is so expensive......asinine laws suits even cross their minds? OR anyone else's?

    October 29, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  26. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Bats on steroids if this is true then its no different from a major league baseball player taking steroids all the past records have been broken because the players have been cheating with souped up base ball bats all aluminum bats should be band from games they put other players using wooden bats at a disadvantage in other words there cheating .

    October 29, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  27. Matthew Dodd (Lake Charles, LA)

    With the millions of children, teens, and adults that use aluminum bats every year, it's likely that more than 200 Million balls leave the face of an aluminum bat every year. How many die as a result of those projectiles?

    More people die every year from an overdose of Aspirin! The bottom line is that this was a freak accident and these things happen. My deepest condolences go out to the family, but this outcome will not stand once appealed in a higher court by the company involved.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  28. John

    Good morning Heidi,

    I am a Senior American Legion baseball coach. Aluminum bats are very dangerous, especially for pitchers facing batters using them. Reaction time for defenders, particularly pitchers, is significantly reduced
    and there is some research to back this up. Aluminum bats create a greater rebounding effect, hit the ball farther, harder and faster. Their use is allowed in order to keep in step with competitors. If your team does not use them, it leaves you at a distinct disadvantage to those that do. I would personally like to see everyone go back to wood but this is a big money issue for the bat industries and doubtful it will change anytime soon.

    John Maggard
    Morehead, Ky.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  29. Ron

    I feel for the parents in this tragedy. But the lawsuit is simply insane. It's akin to the suit filed some years ago by the woman who spilled hot coffee on herself - apparently she didn't expect hot coffee to be hot. A baseball traveling at 80 – 90 – 100 mph is DANGEROUS! It does not matter whether it's hit with a metal or wooden bat, or whether it's thrown, or whether it's shot out of a pitching machine. And guess what - this is COMMON KNOWLEDGE. No additional warning is required.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  30. Eric

    It's a catch 22. Wooden bats break, become a projectile, possible injury is evident! Aluminum bats actually become "dead" after mulitiples of use and abuse.New aluminum bats will project the ball somewhat faster.

    Bottom line folks, there is an inherent risk in all sports.

    I'm not going to get into the litigious society we live in!!!

    October 29, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  31. Maz

    I am so sorry for the loss of this families son, it is such a tragic ACCIDENT; but if we continue to award money to people who sue because of accidents such as this, then we must as well get rid of cars, planes bikes and everything else because they can accidently kill as well. Our society loves sporting events, and we as a society try to improve and expand upon the games we watch such as the equipment and the players as well; those who go to them they must understand "YOU ARE TAKING CHANCES" in everything we do, like walking out our homes daily or Going To Sporting Events. I feel if you go to these events and things outside the normal happens thats the chance we take to get great entertainment. I again am so sorry for the family and their loss but it was not the ball player, the makers, or the "Bats" fault. If you are worried things will happen then stay at home; but even in your home things can happen...

    October 29, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  32. Elizabeth

    My condolences go out to the family for this terrible tragedy. However, I do not feel as if the case has any merit given that playing baseball in any context (little league, in the back yard) comes with the risk of being hit, no matter what.
    Our society, unfortunately, now rests on the notion that if something goes wrong there must be someone to blame and likely someone to sue. (The medical field is being ruined because of this) We have to encourage people to grieve without trying to place blame.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  33. Eric w.

    I must say that i feel for the family but what is this country coming to we are so lawsuit happy the kid was killed by the ball not the bat which says that its not the bat that is dangerous but the ball now let me ask why wasnt the kid wearing protective gear

    October 29, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  34. Larry Crouse

    The Majors don't use them.
    Why should any aluminum bats be used?
    How can anyone determine a hitters ability to acheive Major League status if they don't use the same equipment?

    October 29, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  35. Robert Emanuel

    Aluminum bats are an abomination, that should have been banned, the same they they were introduced. Not only do they cause injury and death, but the sound they produce upon contact with the baseball, is totally alien to those of us who have been players and fans of the game.
    They are just a way to save money, because aluminum bats don't break like wooden ones sometimes do. Something that causes injury or death is not the way to go to save money. As for the sound the metal bats produce – simply awful.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  36. Kyle Richards

    Although unfortunate! There has been no conclusive evidence of alluminum bats being more dangerous than wood bats. Deaths and injuries happens with wood bats as well , Professionally and LittleLeague. I feel alluminum bats should not be banned nor switched to wood bats in baseball leagues. Kyle in Dublin, Ca.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  37. JOEL

    They should never enact that law. The jury shoild never have made the award. The "freak accident" could have happened with a wooden bat.The only way to prevent it would be to outlaw baseball.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  38. Kevin

    I am 38 years old now and played little league and high school baseball. Please don't over look my sympathy for the fallen player and his family, but I played with aluminium bats the whole time I played and never saw any serious injury to anyone. I think it was a case of being in the wrong physical position at the wrong time.wood bats could do the same damage with a strong hitter.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  39. kris

    i don't think were talking about aluminum bats in general. i played softball on leagues for 25yrs. and was never scared at the hotcorner(third) til these juiced bats hit the market in early 2000. they have sinced been banned in most of our local leagues.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  40. billy2michele

    People have known for years the reason why aluminum bats are used “From College all the way down to T-Ball” is because the ball travels faster and father than when they are hit with wooden bats. I am sorry the family lost their child from this incident yet based upon what all baseball coaches / players know about why aluminum bats are used indicates risk of what may happen if the ball hits the bat to cause this type of injury.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  41. greg

    I'm 60 years old now and we used the aluminum bats growing up and there were NO written warnings on the bat. We all knew they added distance on to the travel of the ball and used them for that reason. After all these years we are just figuring out the physics behind the metal bat? I am truly sorry for the young man and his parents, but a warning on the bat will not change the physics and their use. Maybe players need to wear a helmet throughout the entire game, not just when at bat.? The warning will just limit liability, not accidents!

    October 29, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  42. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    The biggest point here is its cheating to use a bat that dosnt fit original regulation bats you might as well bore a hole in the middle of the bat and shoot the ball out like a bullet its plane and unfair to Yogi and Regi and all the other base ball legends .

    October 29, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  43. J Johnson

    Ridiculous. Why not sue the maker of the ball for being too hard. Or the pitcher for throwing too hard. Or the coach for not coaching a wiffle ball game. Or counter sue the parents for allowing their son to play such a dangerous game which might experience a death every 30 or 40 years. Better yet, charge the attorney for bringing a frivolous law suit

    October 29, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  44. eric

    My son almost kill someone at last weekends baseball game. The ball was pitched right down the middle and my son swang the bat and it came back to the pitcher so fast that he didn't have prayer. All the families watch in horror. The boy was lucky. The ball hit his cheek bone. If the ball hit anywhere else he would have suffered serious injuries.
    Now I am worried. My son also pitches in some games.

    Eric
    Hawaii

    October 29, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  45. Helen

    Dear Heidi,
    Regarding the doctor you interviewed this morning, I have to disagree with his thesis that medical malpractice reform will impact in any way doctors' risk averse behavior. Look at Texas. It has medical malpractice reform and over treating/testing is alive and well here. Health care costs here are some of the largest in the country!

    My recommendation is that the various elements of health care should not have a financial interest in other elements. Specifically, my doctor recently sent me for tests to the diagnostic center his practice owns. I wouldn't have known except that I did some research on the web. Maybe I needed these tests and maybe I didn't. MRIs are a routine test here.

    Doctors and hospitals and labs and diagnostic centers should not be allowed to have a financial interest in another elements of health care. The temptation is just too great for them to benefit financially from a referral.

    My two cents.

    You do a great job!

    Helen
    Fort Worth

    October 29, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  46. Cynthia

    There are dangers in many sports which adults and children should both be aware of. However, suing the makers of the aluminum bat is just as absurd as suing Newton himself for the Law of Motion. I understand the need to blame someone for the loss of the child, but it took more than a bat to make the ball travel to it's final destination.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  47. Bryce B

    This is unbelievable... One freak accident and everyone get's sue happy. She had the nerve to say they did this for her son who died...that's bogus. She is exploiting her son's death to get rich. Makes me sick.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  48. stve

    I can throw a baseball at your head and kill you a bat is a bat is bat

    October 29, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  49. Mark

    This wasn't a case of the danger of aluminum bates but a case of the dead boys family not being able to get over the loss.
    They incorrectly feel that they have to have someone to blame.
    The family needs to grow up and learn to deal with loss as opposed chasing money and lining the pockets of lawyers.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  50. Cindy

    Aluminum bats have been used for years...it's a wonder they didn't sue the poor child that hit the ball!

    October 29, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  51. david crier

    listen it doesn't matter which type of bat is used

    October 29, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  52. Chris

    This is almost as bad as the lady that sued McDonalds for making her fat, people need to start taking responsibility for their own actions. Oh the evil of a capitalist country.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  53. David

    Another worthless lawsuit.

    I am truly sorry for the family's loss, but the same thing could happen with a wooden bat.

    This was a freak accident. But those are the chances of life. We cant put our kids in a bubble.

    If you are concerned don't play.

    Example....my kid will not play football until high school if he chosses...I don't think its safe.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  54. Dwight

    Wow! Why not go after the people who made the ball, or the glove, or the pitcher who threw in the strike zone. RIDICULOUS!!!!!

    October 29, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  55. Dustin Z

    I don't think you can sue Louisville Slugger for making an affordable alternative for younger kids. Wooden bats are expensive, especially when they need to have backups ready, and can be just as dangerous when they break and send pieces into the field of play.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  56. Lacey

    Encouraging youth leagues to switch from aluminum to wooden would just create a slippery slope for other athletic sports like softball. Does this mean softball players should be encouraged to use wooden bats, too? Manufacturers of aluminum bats create thinner composite bats every year that allow the ball to fly off at higher speeds. If anything, regulation of aluminum bats should be the issue, not the removal altogether.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  57. Mike

    I would hope the family shares the reward with the family of the boy who hit the ball. He's got to be equally traumatized from the experience. It's a simple accident, albeit unfortunate. I would imagine the boy who was killed used an aluminum bat himself – every boy out there probably does.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  58. Ray Torella

    My heart goes out to the parents of the deceased. However, most professional sports have a potential for injuries to the players. When a player steps onto the field, they automatically assume this risk. I believe the mother who stated that the lawsuit was only in the honor of her son. The proof will be when the parents donate the funds to the needy, hungry and homeless people of out great country. Their honesty will show in the actions.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  59. Walter

    This is the kind of lawsuit that makes me embarrassed to be an American. "Bats are dangerous". Really? A court really needs to tell us that? I've got an idea... why don't we start putting warning signs on the foreheads of stupid people? "Brain absent. Beware of idiocy", or "Feeble-minded dimwit. Beware!"

    October 29, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  60. Bret mixon

    My son plays baseball. Metal bats dramatically increase the speed with which the ball comes off the bat. That decreases reaction time of the defensive players, specifically, the pitcher, 1st and third base. Runners at first base and third base are also in greater danger. Wooden bats required at all levels will preserve America's game, not "indict" it.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  61. Michael

    The sporting goods industry and Little League has abdicated its responsibility to its youngest players.

    Aluminum and carbon fiber bats should be banned because they create such velocity off the bat that young players cannot respond quickly enough, especially on a small field. Players should at minimum, also be required to wear heart protectors to prevent stopped heart tragedies. Its cheap insurance.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  62. Robert

    This is just a symptom of the political climate in America today that is robbing our children of their future. Why don't we all just sit at home and do nothing but watch CNN and draw unemployment or social security benefits? Life is full of risks yet all Americans seem to want to do these days is blame someone else for their problems. Bought a house you can't afford? Blame the bank. Ran up a credit card bill that you can't pay off in a month? Blame the credit card company. Your child got killed playing a game where players hit a hard ball with a bat? Sue the bat maker. WAKE UP AMERICA!

    October 29, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  63. D. Rose

    We complain that our kids are overweight and don't play outside anymore, then we outlaw sport through lawsuit. Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

    October 29, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  64. Jay

    Wow, getting hit in the head by a baseball is going to cause damage no matter a wood or aluminum bat. Sounds like a payday for the family and lawyers! What ever happened to individual responsibility and conscience?

    October 29, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  65. Park Harrington

    This is another stupid lawsuit. A ball hit by any bat can do the same thing. This is just like the hot coffee lawsuit. Nowonder it costs so much to do any thing in this country.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  66. Daniel

    Although I risk sounding unsympathetic toward the family, I think this lawsuit is quite ridiculous! This is what's wrong with healthcare and malpractice right now. Trust that the settlement costs incurred by Louisville Slugger will be passed on to consumers. And similar companies' legal arms will have watched the outcome of this lawsuit, will predict more liability, and will start upping their prices for goods and services. By the time my kids are old enough to play little league sports, I probably won't be able to afford it.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  67. Corey

    If she is allowed to sue the bat maker, what prevents someone from suing the ball maker from making a ball that's "too hard". or a glove maker for a glove that's "too heavy" to catch a ball in time? Instead of advocating wooden bats, doesn't it make sense to advocate pitcher helmets in youth baseball leagues?

    October 29, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  68. Sherry

    All sports run a risk. Parents need to weigh these risks when allowing their child to play sports. Wooden bats break and the parts go flying causing injuries, too. My heart goes out to the parents that they lost their son in this freak accident, but suing the bat company won't bring back their son...and I'm sure he was having fun playing. Accidents happen. And that's what this was an accident.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  69. M Campbell

    Although all sports can be dangerous, parents let their kids play. All sports have risks and when parents allow their children to play those sports, they are accepting those risks. I do not see why people sue manufacturers over equipment when the parents know that accidents can happen. Seems to me that people are always looking for a way to sue to gain wealth. Money does not bring their beloved child back. I think it should be against the law for anyone to sue over accidents that can happen in any activity that we willingly participate in.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  70. gregory

    – am the father of a high school junior pitcher.:e has ceen ranked in top 10 pitchers in America.Ban these bats.any bat rated with a -5 or lower sends the ball off the bat at a speed greater tjan a wooden one. (Hey are more ezpensive than wood.I am writing a book on coaching touth baseball and have more for you.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  71. Donald Thomas

    People like these and their lawyers are what made insurance rates skyrocket.
    They say they are doing this for there son? They are doing it for themselves, I wish people would just tell the truth.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  72. Chas

    Why not sue the entire game of baseball? This is ridiculous. The game itself is dangerous, and the family should've known that. You don't need a label to know that ANY bat, aluminum or wooden, can be dangerous. It is the risk you take when you play, or sign your kids up. It's sports for crying out loud. It's not a question of IF you will get hurt, it's WHEN, because you WILL get hurt. I can't tell you how many times I've been bruised and beaten from playing baseball. It's the risk you take. Ludicrous lawsuit. Hopefully Louisville Slugger will come out better on appeal. Stupid people.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  73. Joe

    This is yet another example of our courts time being wasted and jurors allowing their emotions to get in the way of their job. It is sad that a young man lost his life but it is not the fault of the baseball bat company. Where do we go from here? Do we sue the pitcher for allowing the ball to be hit? Enough already.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  74. Kevin

    Having played competitive baseball from age eight through college and having had my elbow shattered in college from a line drive hit up the middle when I was pitching, I clearly understand the risks of the game.

    That said, these are known risks - hard bats (material REALLY doesn't matter), hard baseballs, hards helemts, etc. One plays the game knowing and ACCEPTING these risks.

    The cause and outcome of this case is unfortunate for all parties and likely baseball's future rules.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  75. Jé Goolsby

    Sports began as military conditioning and training. Injuries are frequent and many are long lasting.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  76. Mike Petropoulos

    It is a shame that this family took this opportunity to exploit their sons death to collect a fee. The greed of this family makes me sick. Who would have thought getting hit by a baseball at 100mph would cause injury, this is extortion.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  77. Dave from Princeton

    Sorry for your loss.

    Maybe wood bats should be banned , people get hurt or die fro wood bats.

    Maybe the other wood bat company is trying to get a bigger bite from sales . Louisville slugger is a big name..

    Young kids playing baseball should wear hard hat during the entire game, with face and ear sheilds.

    If I am in a court room and fall of my chair and die , can I sue the chair manufacturer ?

    If I go to jail and die can I sue the judge who put me there ?

    Sorry for your loss, but.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  78. malcolm baroway

    The look, scent, and heft of a wooden baseball bat was as much the essence of baseball for a kid as oiling the glove and handling a new "horsehide." Aluminum bats themselves are one of the reasons baseball has lost its status as our number one sport.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  79. dennis linville

    First, my heart goes out to the family because of this horrible accident. That being said, This is baseball ! What is next sueing because baseballs are to hard ? This is just another example of How crazy the leagel system has gotten.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  80. Julianne Hare

    If we keep this nonsense up – the only Americans making money will be litigants and their lawyers. Lawsuits – and the insurance to protect us from them – are the prime offenders behind insane increases in the cost of consumer goods and services. We can't afford to keep feeding this monster.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  81. Jim Beezy

    Seriously????? This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of..It's on the same level as filing a lawsuit against McDonalds for spilling hot coffee on yourself.......Yes it is tragic, however the same thing could have happened with a wooden bat, or what about a really high flyball hitting you in the face....Everyone is always looking for a quick dollar...And how does all that money help in the mourning process????.....All I can say is with all that money they can buy enough wooden bats for the whole states youth league program to prevent this incident from happening....If that is the real issue????

    October 29, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  82. Forrest

    Correct me if I am wrong, wether or not it is with a wooden bat or aluminum bat, if a person gets hit in the head by a "ball", shouldn't the "ball" be banned as well cause it's the "ball" that is the thing that causes the injury? (LOL) Point being, a strike to the head can cause death by using a wooden bat as well cause there are hitters that generate an equal amount of bat speed to equal the force from using an aluminum bat.

    If they are so concerned about safety, make the kids that play in the infield, especially the pitchers, wear headgear........problem solved!

    October 29, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  83. M & M

    So if someone gets critically/seriously injured by a baseball hit by a wooden bat, will the sport of baseball be made into wiffle ball? because i dont believe a plastic bat hitting a plastic ball will hurt anybody. Also if you can win lawsuits based off of bats making baseballs pick up speed, does that mean weightlifting should be banned? Because players who lift weights can hit the ball pretty hard. i am sorry for the death of a player, but i know people who get seriously hurt playing basketball because they landed wrong on a leg. Should they sue the people who cut the wood of the floor. or maybe the company that put the floor in. or maybe the company who made the shoes. Stuff like this happens and sports are dangerous. that's why a physical is required and why equipment is created to make the game better and safer.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  84. Amber

    Are you kidding me. This story is childish. It's not the bat fault that he died it was the ball. Thats what happens when you play sports, you get hurt. Pretty soon there won't be anymore sports, because its the sports fault that they died. Blame yourself you are the one that let him play baseball. You can't blame something that has no control of it self. It's a ball and a bat that has no mind of itself. Did the boy had a helmet? If not its his fault, he should of had a helmet on.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  85. jane

    It is very tragic that this child was killed by a baseball. But there are many accidents similar in sports. I don't personally feel it is the bat. A ball hit off of a wooden bat hitting someone in the head would probably have caused the same result. I remember a child completely breaking through his leg bones just sliding in to base. My own son cracked his tailbone in lacrosse.And a figure skater the same thing. Another child became a paraplegic during a college wrestling match. Sports are dangerous. And these are just people i know personally.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  86. Walter

    Grieving parents are the last people who should be writing the laws in this country. Having lost a child, they are not in their right minds and will look to blame anyone, and anything, for their loss except for themselves, and/or their child. It is not an efficient, or logical, way to govern a country. Obviously, I feel sorry for their loss but we do not need a new law every time someone dies. People die. It is a part of life, ironically. No matter how many laws we enforce, or labels we print, people will still die prematurely.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  87. Jessie S

    All we need is bat chasing lawyers.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  88. Heidi

    This just boggles my mind. I'm so very sorry for the family involved. As an ER nurse I can certainly appreciate the tragedy of sports-related injuries. I also understand that aluminum bats can produce more power. But please, blaming the bat maker? Playing baseball puts you at the risk of all kinds of injury, concussion, fractures, eye injuries, sprains, cleat injuries – but I say again, blaming the bat maker? What in heaven's name have we come to? This should never have even been allowed to come to trial. Should the hockey player with the fractured arm sue the construction company that built the boards he was smashed into? Should the ballet dancer sue the glass company that made the mirrors she piroutted into and broke, cutting her head? Should the basketball player sue the basketball maker because he caught the ball wrong and broke his fingers? How about suing the football league because the player got tackled and fractured his neck? At this point, where does personal choice to take a risk for the sake of the game come in? or maybe it doesn't anymore.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  89. Jim Beezy

    Isn't that why they make you sign a waiver???

    October 29, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  90. Tony

    I'm in college now and I played baseball with aluminum bats from little league up through varsity baseball in high school. It was a common understanding among the players and the coaches that aluminum bats had a certain risk associated with them. Baseball is a sport and like all sports there are risks involved. Can we say with 100% certainty that if the bat would have been wooden that a difference in a few miles an hour would have saved the boys life? I think not...I am sorry for the family's loss but Louisville Slugger was not to blame.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  91. mary schur

    aluminum bats are not the hot coffee of lawsuits. there are multiple problems with aluminum bats used in youth baseball.
    1. youths are not able to evaluate risk in the same way an adult is; their brains are not developed– as adults we need to protect them when they cannot protect themselves. If the other team is using aluminum bats most assuredly those playing that team will use aluminum bats. Level the playing field for safety reason.
    2. there are vast differences in physical development of choldren, year olds– a huge twelve year old slugger with an aluminum bat can be a deadly affront to the smaller twelve year old pitcher facing him. the aluminum bat adds more fuel to that batted ball than the wooden bat- it's not just physical development their reaction time has not fully developed yet either but the base path length for high schoolers is the same as the majors.
    as adults we need to protect our kids when they cannot protect themselves. If the other team is using aluminum bats most assuredly those playing that team will use aluminum bats. Level the playing field for safety reasons. The solution is not to sue for the damage done by aluminum bats– eliminate their use in youth baseball and high school baseball.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  92. Kevin

    Heidi,

    Like so many kids, I grew up playing the game of baseball. I'd seen the evolutions of the bats not only in baseball but softball as well.
    Aluminum bats with all the technology they have are now dangerous to the players and spectators.The ball comes off the bat faster than ever before, giving players less time to react.
    The manufacturers must change these bats to behave similar to wooden bats.
    It has been proven that balls hit by wooden bats travel with less velocity than balls hit by aluminum bats.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  93. JOHN KESSLER

    I managed a little league tean when they had the wooden bats,and they went to the aluminum bats because of kids breaking the wooden bats because they couldn't get use to haveing the trademark in the right position when batting. Intresting though we never had a kid get hurt from the aluminum bats,they use alimunum abts even in the colleges,I managed a little league team for 12 years before getting out,and I think if william sport,pennsylvania home of little league ball thought the aluminum bats was dangerous they'd quit useing them,there strictly against a kid hurting themselves,just look at the pitching rules they have and all the other rules they have.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  94. Brian

    It is unfortunate that this family has taken its tragedy and turned it into a blame game. Everything we do or don't do includes an element of risk. It is ridiculous that in our society that we do not take responsibility for our actions and rather look for someone to blame. This continues to reinforce the precedence that whenever something goes wrong, we can sue and win. Aluminum bats were created to hit the ball farther, as it was lighter than wood improving bat speed with better rebound of the ball off the bat. Do not blame the industry for this tragic accident.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  95. LA

    I am a former collegiate softball player and certified umpire. Softball like baseball organizations are very specific on the bats that are allowed for use in certain level of play. For example the ASA (Armature Softball Association) governs the use of specific bats that meets their projectile speed requirements (how fast a ball comes off of a bat). In college, I saw a pitcher get hit in the chest with a batted ball (stopping her heart) as well as several head shots (all of which were not fatal). Anything beyond a certain speed is banned for competitive use and is punishable during play if used. Parents ALWAYS need to be concerned about the level of risk within any sport, but also should be aware of the type of governing body over their child’s sport. I question whether the bat used was sanctioned by the governing body for this boys club and/or if the club was even aligned with any such governing body. Some organizations, especially in Softball now require headgear for first and second base players (not to mention sideline coaches). Our technology is greatly increased in this area but so has our athleticism in our children, parents always need to be aware and active—I feel there needs to be more done with the club in this instance in protecting its players and setting a clear expectations of level of play.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  96. Carlos

    What I'd like to know is the link between the injury being caused by a ball hit by aluminum bat or wooden bat? What would have been the difference in outcome from the different bats?

    October 29, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  97. Peter Davenport

    I coached girls softball for years and positioned only my very best players at third base and never allowed them to move in past 3 feet inside the base line towards home. On 2 separate occasions, a line drive struck my player in the face, fortunately without serious injury. In each case, the player was barely able to flinch before ball stack them.
    They had no chance to move their heads or raise their glove or hand to protect themselves. Aluminum bats are trouble for two reasons. #1- they are lighter and kids can whip the bat with greater bat speed. #2- at sweet-spot contact, aluminum bats launch the ball with a "trampoline effect" as metal absorbs and then launches ball at greater velocity. Leagues and over-zealous parents have been ignoring problem for all the wrong reasons. The safety of our children must be priority #1 for children's sports.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  98. JOEL WEINHARDT

    Ijust noticed that you only use the initials when you read the e-mail. The 1st time I sent this I only gave my first name. So just in case that would prevent me being read,I will send the message again:
    To enact that legislation would be stupid. The jury should never have made that award. This "freak accident" could have happened using a wooden bat. The only way to prevent this from happening, would be to outlaw baseball!

    October 29, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  99. Ellis

    It‘s disgustingly irresponsible how so many will go out and do all of the research necessary to file suit, after the fact, but are too "busy" with something else to do the work up front. And then blame someone else?! I’ve played the game for a long time and freak-occurrences happen. Poor kid! Unfortunately this is just a byproduct of a society progressively going softer.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  100. Shelly Yivrakes

    Heidi, Aluminum bats are a deadly weapons. These bats accelerate the speed of the ball coming off them. They always pose a danger when line drives are hit at infielders but in organized ball with younger players they have caused numerous deatths and injuries. The reason for this is that even in little league some "children" can be over 6 feet tall and are exceptionally strong and they generate very fast bat speeds. Younger kids playing the field do not have developed reflexes or may be playing"in" on a given play and they have no chance to protect themsleves from a ball coming at them. Aluminum bats should be banned below the college level as they have been in NYC. Only people who fail to understand this danger would think it is an issue of just a change in material which make no difference. In fact these bats can cost a great deal of money, this is not because they look nice but because they can be fine tuned to enhance bat speed.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  101. Jim Davis

    Lets see...would I rather get bashed in the head with a speeding ball hit by an aluminium bat or impaled on the jagged end of a broken wooden bat? hmmmmm What I really don't understand is why the maker of the ball wasn't sued.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  102. Tom

    Why have the parents not been sued for child neglect for not spending enough time playing ball in the yard or park teaching him the proper way to play the game.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  103. scott d. f. Simpson

    I am sure louisville bats will simply stop making aluminum bats after this lawsuit. Aluminum bats don't kill people, people kill poeple. This was a tragic accident.The key word being accident. No one was responcible. Guns don't kill people, people use guns to kill people.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  104. Gene

    If the bat maker is guilty, the parent should also be guilty of endangerment/neglect, the team sponsors and coaches should be co-defendants. Don't forget to charge the batter with manslaughter.
    Look out Little League World Series, you are a has been.
    Who is going to take the chance on another money hungery lawyer and parent?

    October 29, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  105. CharlieM

    Tragic death, but it is NOT the fault of the BAT or the company. More people have been beaten to death with wood than aluminum bats over the years, but no one ever thought to "ban the bat". This is a result of people not using their heads – idiots. The lawyer that brought the case, judge that heard it, should both be disbarred. That people or schools want to save money by using a bat that won't break should not even be part of the debate, like an earlier commenter brought up. Caveat – you don't give us the full information in the story, so we don't know details of how the bat played into the death.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  106. howie metzner

    how is one properly warned that the ball leaving the bat (wooden or otherwise) is traveling fast. if one is clueless to this widely known fact they don't belong on the playing field. this is like stamping warnings on gun barrels, " may cause death or injury" duh... what ever happened to common sense???

    October 29, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  107. Paul Bakke

    Unfortunately, it takes a lawsuit like this to put pressure on bat companies and baseball leagues to recognize that these new bats have too much bounce. Kids keep getting stronger and better earlier. They don't need a bat that makes the ball jump like it does now. I have a baseball training school, and parents are always asking about the best bat that will help their kids hit better. The difference in bats in the last 20 years is amazing. As long as these bats are legal, parents are going to buy them. If the technology is available to make balls trampoline off the bat, it is there to make an aluminum bat more like wood. This would be safer and require kids to learn how to hit the ball correctly without depending on the latest technology for their success.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  108. Kate Heng

    Don't blame the manufacture when you get hurt. The ball did what it was made for. It's understood if you play sports you may get hurt...time to growup. What a waste of the courts time, learn to be responsible.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  109. Jim Beezy

    $850,000???....If it's really about saving kids lives and being safer, then they can buy 10,000 Top of the line Louisville Slugger wooden bats @$85 for local youth leagues to start this big safety movement........

    October 29, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  110. Steve Mueller

    While airing the courts decision on the aluminum bat case this news is worthless without reporting the basis for the suit. Unless the cnn.com article is read one can only guess to what the suit was about. So what did the bat company do wrong?

    October 29, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  111. Michael Chaffin

    "Debbie Patch says she hopes this decision will make more youth baseball leagues switch to using wooden bats."

    Great idea! Let's switch to bats that are much more likely to break into several pieces and can possibly impale a player on the field. Instead of one high speed projectile flying through the air, we could have 2 or 3!!!! I love it when people think before they talk...

    October 29, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  112. Joe

    A tragic story for the child and his family !! Louisville Slugger is not to blame –if aluminum bats are "that" dangerous the baseball commissioners should outlaw them. Every child and/or parent knows that entering any sports event/contest carries a certain risk. What about all those kids who have been injured with flying parts of broken wooden bats? They just didn't grow up in a world where lawsuits were the thing to do !! Where are the rational minded people who serve on juries–I hope I am located in an area where they live !!

    October 29, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  113. Mark

    This is another example of whats wrong in America. What happened was an accident and a tragedy, but to hold the bat manufacturer responsible is ludicrous. What are they saying that if the bat carried a warning the parents wouldnt have allowed their son to play baseball? Any sport has inherit risks and its the parents responsibility to weigh those risks when they allow thier children to participate. Whats next is someone going to sue Ford for not labeling cars that drink and driving is dangerous?

    October 29, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  114. Bill ruch

    Hi:
    How can a jury award money for an client or client's family because an aluminum bat hits a ball. What about a big boy or man hitting, a ball with a wooden bat, compared to a small man or boy hitting the ball. Seems to me that the bat is not the problem here, because it was the ball that did the damage. Some juries just don't get it.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  115. Jim Beezy

    What's next???? This is a mockery of our judicial system....So when is someone going to sue fast food franchises for being overweight............

    October 29, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  116. lorraine gagliardi

    This is unbelievable! In our experience, equipment was purchased by us and we were responsible for the selection. Were the parents incapable of considering the " danger " of the metal versus wood bat?

    October 29, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  117. Mark

    If this were a wooden bat that broke and killed someone than someone would sue and say the bat wasnt stong enough.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  118. Bob Silvano

    There are two tragedies associated with this story. The first, of course, is the accidental death of a young man. The second, with significantly more consequence, is the continuing deterioration of common sense. There have also been advances in the construction of baseballs. Using the parent’s logic, should they not have also sued the manufacturer of the baseball?

    October 29, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  119. SHANE GRIFFIN

    Hedi, I love watching your show by the way, thank you for putting the news out. This is crazy about aluminum bats; if baseballs pitch at any high level speed comes off a wooden bat or aluminum and hits you in your head the wrong way you might die. I feel bad for the family that lost their child in America’s game but it was an accident.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  120. Scott

    I feel Sorry for the Parents, but it was an accident. No amount of money will bring their son back – suing the company is misplaced anger; or worse – it's greed guised through anger.

    they should feel guilty if they use any part of that money for themselves. The only winners here were the lawyers.The lawyers and family should donate all of the money to buy wooden bats for youth baseball programs.

    We take risks everyday in everything we do – someone shouldn't be able to sue because of something someone does on their own volition.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  121. Andy

    This is a pathetic example of how far our litigous society has fallen toward self gratification at others expense. What was once considered 'higher performance' is now a proven liability for the maker and creator of better products. How dare they provide better equipment for our leisure sports! We can't expect users to have the common sense God gave peanuts, to respect the hazards as well as limitations of performance enhancing products we buy and use today. I didn't hear anyone say they were 'forced to use' these bats. How dense do they have to be to 'discover' that the balls fly faster when hit with aluminum bats. Didn't they notice that 'little Johnny' suddenly got a whole lot better with this type bat? Do we really think that they then exclaimed 'Oh NO! He's NOT supposed to hit balls that hard!" What's next, sueing a big kid because he hit a line drive and hit a player because he was 'too big for his age'?

    October 29, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  122. Mark

    I heard some estimates that an 80mph pitch comes off the bat (aluminum-composite) at greater than 140mph. For a pitcher 66 ft away this means they have less than 0.89 seconds from the time they release the ball/finish their follow through until they need to be ready to deal with solid line drive right back at them. Just playing the lottery at that point, but players/parents know this before stepping on the field. If these parents really wanted to make a difference they need to talk to the regulators, not the bat makers....

    October 29, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  123. Jack

    I assume this will be overturned on appeal, but it goes to show you how stupid people are. Not the person using the bat or the kid hit in the head, but the people selected for the jury. I hope the members of this jury don't reproduce. Is sterilization too high a price to pay for stupid jury decisions.? Some people think these are my peers...

    I'd like to see the bat company sue the members of the jury for their costs in having to defend it on appeal.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  124. John

    Dear Heidi,

    Though I feel for the family's loss, their lawsuit is another example of lack of responsibility and of common sense coming from the parents and of most adults today. It use to be that if a person particiapated in or was watching a sport such as baseball or even hockey, you try to have a great time, but also be on the look out for the occasion fly, pop up, or home run as to get yourself a souvenior and to avoid getting hit by the ball or puck in the case of hockey. It is time for all adults to stop shifting the blame and take responsibility for our own actions. I'm just curious to know if the parents have also filed a lawsuit against the maker of the baseball, pitcher of said ball and the batter who hit the ball. To me if you are going to sue the bat maker, you better sue the forementioned individuals, because to me, based on the parents mentality in this situation, they might as well sue those individuals as well. And for that matter sue themselves for not being better informed of the dangers involved around the sport of Baseball.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  125. Nancy Anderson

    Our society is being controlled more and more by litigation, clogging the system with unfounded law suits. Where was his helmet? Where were his eyes? Why was the Bat to blame when it was the Ball which hit this boy in the head. I just don't get it, when a judge would even take this case in the first place. A few kids die playing sports every season. This is a bad as blaming the grass during a football game, for an asthma attack which kills. The parents have suffered a tragedy and that fact is awful, but there is risk every day when we get out of bed. Crying parents should not sway a jury on punitive damages when it was an accident. Aluminum bats were made because wooden bats broke, pieces flying, and injured players – as well as saving trees. Even as a girl, I was taught to watch the batter and the ball, "just in case." Maybe he was talking and the other person should have been sued, for the distraction. This is another example of the ridiculous court system which looks for punitive blame instead of re-enforcing responsibility.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  126. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    The Louisville Slugger bat company needs to throw away the aluminum bat and stick to wooden bats they break more and in return they can sell more bats screw the trees .

    October 29, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  127. hammlarr

    I guess I'm just old fashioned but I grew up and used WOOD BATS not aluminum bats. Aluminum is great for build aircraft, soda and beer cans but not baseball bats. I also believe that collage level baseball players who hit extremely well using aluminum bats will see their hard hitting drop when they start using wood bats because it has been proven the speed of a ball hit with a wooden bat doesn't travel as fast as if it was hit with an aluminum bat.

    October 29, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  128. songbird

    Balls coming off an aluminum bats travel faster than ball coming off of wooden bats. But a ball coming off a wooden bat is still enough to kill somehow. Imagine getting hit by a car going 49.71 mi/h vs a car going 62.14 mi/h.Both will cause death but the 62.14 mi/h collision will be messier. ie: more blood and body parts scattered.

    October 29, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  129. david sugar

    im sorry that the boy died,but is an aluminum bat really at fault?we seem to be a finger pointing,knee jerk culture unable to deal with life as it comes.scapegoating this bat company is really a wild outcome.

    October 29, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  130. Mark

    Aluminum bats are labeled with both league approval (ie LITTLE LEAGUE APPROVED, ASA 2003 APPROVED) and its coefficient. How can you fault a company for producing and bat that comforns to these standards? The leagues do have the power slow down the bats by not approving them. Thats the sanctioning bodies responsability. If Louisville Slugger slows the bats down on their own, than people (myself included) will buy a faster one from Easton, or many other manufactures. I guess Im just as guilty for buying my daughter a lighter, faster bat to give her a competetive advantage, so she hits it faster, harder and further.

    October 29, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  131. howard l graham

    Ball players assume the risk. The reaction time is the important issue for a pitcher. Parents who let their children play sports, especiallly baseball or football, must realize how inherently dangerous those sports are!! According to "The Little White Book of Baseball Law", published by the ABA Press, pp.151 thru 165, a baseball hit with an aluminum bat can reach the pitcher's mound in .32 seconds traveling over 100 mph compared to being hit by a wooden bat which will take .4 of a second to reach the pitcher's mound. Common sense dictates a child will be hurt playing ball.

    October 29, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  132. Doug

    Is the whole story being told? Did the ball hit the boy or a piece of the aluminum bat hit the boy? Why did the family sue the bat manufacturer and not the ball manufacturer or the player swinging the bat? I thought balls flying off of bats is what is suppose to happen at a baseball field. This is another case of a greedy lawyer (and family) finding the person with the deepest pockets.

    October 29, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  133. JC Cruz

    I've been coaching baseball for over 25 years and I immediately saw the dangers of an aluminum bat when they were first introduced into little league years back. The hit distances caused by these bats so impressed the young players and parents alike, that buying a high priced bat easily became a no brainer. The dangers that were noticeable to me immediately presented were quickly overlooked for the players short term glory of a long distance hit or homerun!

    Pitchers where the first players to be put at risk of high speed baseballs coming off a loaded bat. In professional baseball, “loaded” bats are forbidden, in youth baseball it's in encouraged! One would easily say that such comparisons are ridiculous, but are they really?

    My sons both play tournament team baseball; each I’ve trained personally and each are rarely allowed to pitch, per my instructions! I’ve seen hard hit shots come off the legs of my boys during their pitching stints. My sons have had baseballs fly by their skulls with inches to spare. I’ve drilled them about “instantly” returning balls that may strike them as they complete the wind up. After years of instruction the dangers of not being able to move away fast enough from a "speed enforced" projectile still exist!

    In conclusion, these bats are nothing more than legal weapons for baseball! I would love to see them all removed from the game ASAP!

    JC Cruz
    San Jose, ca.

    October 29, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  134. Matt Wilcox

    Charlie,

    While it is true that a ball hit off of a wood bat could produce an injury just as severe, it is far more likely to occur with an aluminum bat. The sweet spots are much larger and they bats themselves can be swung at a higher rate of speed due to the uneven weight distribution. This is coupled with the infamous "trampoline effect" aluminum bats provide as a result of being hollow.

    The end result is a HIGHER NUMBER of hard hit balls. Not necessarily harder hit balls (as compared to batted balls off of wood bats).

    The issue here is that the average user would not have known that aluminum bats posed a greater risk than wood. It basically comes down to a failure to warn. Had there been a warning lable on the bat, the company would have been absolved of liability.

    This is a big deal because until this point no court had found aluminum bats to pose a greater risk than wood. Most prior cases had been settled prior to reaching a verdict.

    October 29, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  135. mary gideon

    Could someone please discuss this new TAX on juices and food. How can we afford anymore taxes. We already pay taxes on everything. Now they are going to tax Juicessssss What is going on. Angry in Kansas,

    October 29, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  136. Ken

    I can understand the family wanting to sue, after all, we do live in a litigious society. But how often does this really happen? Whats next? Baseball will have to switch to spongeballs and wiffle bats, just because someone "might" get hurt?

    October 29, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  137. James in Idaho

    but... won't somebody please think of the trees? 😉

    October 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  138. Robert Lake,MI

    Anything for a quick buck on the back of their dead son! Talk about frivilous lawsuit! People like this is part of the reason insurance is unaffordable for most people!

    October 29, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  139. David

    Why is there no CNN.com article on this news or no link to the AP article "Mont. jury awards $850,000 in aluminum bat lawsuit"?

    This is just one of several cases against the manufacturer.

    I feel Brandon Patch's family has a point. They said the bats are defective and unreasonably dangerous. The jury said the bats are not defective but they are indeed dangerous. That as far as I can tell is completely possible. The whole question of the warning label might get people confused, but the point is that what is being marketed to schools and leagues for baseball for young people maybe is overdesigned to increase the force behind a hit. That certainly could be a hazard to a young person pitching or on base. The College, High School and youth leagues need to take a look at this, and consider going to wood bats only.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  140. Rebecca

    I am SO MAD that they even got any money at all. It couldn't be any more obvious that any blunt metal object to the head can kill you. It's common knowledge and that family is just gold digging.

    October 29, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  141. Paul

    This was a very unfortunate accident and just another example of a frivolous law suit. People nowadays are not responsible for their own actions, and accidents are always someone elses fault. Maybe the batter hit the ball too hard or maybe the ball manufacturer made the ball to hard, where does this insanity stop. There are certain responsibilities a person accepts when participating in any activity.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  142. David

    Nope not a frivolous lawsuit at all. And these people pursued this for six years. H&B got carried away with homeruns and actually made something that was bad for kids. It's called product liability, and the last time I checked kids were not regularly losing their lives at high school baseball games.

    October 30, 2009 at 9:11 am |
  143. Mark

    It's sad that the majority of people responding are simply reacting without knowing all of the facts involved in this case. The news media has failed here to present the facts and issues that were involved. Aluminum bats are different.

    Contrary to the majority of knee jerk reactions, this is not a case of greed or jackpot justice on the part of the parents. There are real issues here as to whether relative safety is being sacrificed for
    bat performance. Pitchers are sitting ducks.

    October 30, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  144. Andy

    I'm sorry, but it wasn't the bat's fault that the kid died. We can fault the league, the sanctioning agency, the team's desire to win, the skill of the batter in his or her ability to hit a pitched ball or even the slow reaction times of the deceased pitcher.
    This was a game! Kids and parents all had choices on what equipment to buy and use. They chose aluminum. They rooted their kids, game after game. They never thought about the consequences until their boy died. Tragic as that will always be, it doesn't rise to suing the maker of the bat any more than suing the ball maker, the designer of the little league diamond layout, the team coach for not insisting on helmets, the batter for hitting the ball, and even God for providing a great day to play ball. Say what you will – this was all about greed and our stupid court system.

    October 30, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  145. David

    No this is a pressing lawsuit on a matter of importance. Heidi, you haven't given the background for this case that one can find readily in the AP article, noted above. I missed this part of your show thurs so I don't know how indepth you went on this report. If there was an intvw or extended discussion on air could you please post the video of that?

    November 2, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  146. Michelle

    Does any body check the BSER on a bat when they buy it. I do there are limits. My husband is a baseball coach and he has told kids on his team they cannot use certain bats. I have a son in college and one in high school playing baseball and they have certain requirements on a bat. I am sure there are millions of kids palying baseball everyday and it is sad that this has happened to such a young person but how can they blame the bat. My kids play with wood bats in the Fall and they love it, however there is an extreme cost when it comes to wooden bats since they can break with one swing of the bat.

    November 2, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  147. David

    Michelle thank you for pointing out the cerfication required for non-wood bats used in High School and College baseball. Those bats, in particular conditions, would when hitting the ball result in a ball speed of 97mph. I'm just learning this, thanks to you, though the certifcation is referred to as Ball Exit Speed Ratio, or BESR.

    November 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  148. ellen Richardson

    Why can,you people let President Obama do the job he was elected to do.
    He is doing aremarkable job in these 9 months.. for results WAIT.
    Rome was not built in a day.

    November 3, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  149. ellen Richardson

    Why can't you media people let President Obama do the job he was elected to do? He is doing a remarkable job.Hit the ground running. Nine months already.The seeds he has plaanted takes time for results Rome was not built in a day!
    Lay off!

    November 3, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  150. Christy Parsons

    My family is a huge baseball family, and my 14 year old son is a pitcher. In most sports there are risks involved. Every time my son takes the mound, in the back of my head I worry about the risk of injury or worse, as in Brandon Patch's case. But I also know this is what my son loves to do. I'm not sure that I agree with 850,000 won by Brandon Patch's family. Winning a court battle will not bring Brandon back . There is a question that keeps looming over me, and it is, what kind of bat did Brandon Patch use? If I had to guess, I would say it was most likely an aluminum bat. For this family whom was very involved in baseball, they had to of known there are high risks involved. Not only that, there is also precations they could have taken. There are protective masks available out there. You can't tell me this family didn't know these things are out there! It just goes to show how sue happy everyone is these days!!

    November 4, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  151. GK

    Heidi, here is my thought about suing aluminun bats maker. In the same way, let ask the following question to anyone. Often victims are subject of gunmen or gunwomen killers. But I never heard anybody through lawsuit to put pressure to the Gun Maker Companies. There is always uneffectiveness of judgement or argument of lawmakers.

    November 8, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  152. LR

    This is ridiculous...personally the judge should have thrown it out. These lawsuits are a joke. You have a risk playing any sports. Common sense is what these parents need..you sign your kids up...you know the risk!

    November 10, 2009 at 1:43 am |