Our attorneys regularly represent victims who suffer childhood brain injuries caused by defective products. In one such case, we recovered $14.5 million for a 14-year-old boy who sustained catastrophic injuries after being struck by a baseball hit with a high-performance aluminium bat.
This case involved a 12-year-old Passaic County boy who was pitching in a Little League baseball game in Wayne, NJ, when he was hit in the chest by a line drive. When the ball struck his chest, the boy’s heart stopped beating. He fell to the ground in cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. As the young boy turned blue, a man trained in CPR attempted to resuscitate him.
By the time the ambulance arrived on the scene, the boy had been deprived of oxygen for between 15 and 20 minutes. This amount of time is more than enough to cause severe and permanent brain damage. The brain needs a consistent flow of oxygen to appropriately function and without it, even for a few minutes, brain cells will die. These cells are integral for a host of bodily functions, which is why brain damage can affect regions of the body that are nowhere near the original site of injury.
Paramedics rushed the boy to a nearby hospital in Paterson, NJ, where he was in a coma and on life support for several weeks. Tragically, he suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), specifically anoxic encephalopathy, resulting from the initial impact to the chest and cardiac arrest that followed. The condition that describes this course of events is known as commotio cortis, meaning a disruption of the heart’s electrical system caused by a forceful impact to the chest. He eventually emerged from his coma, but spent eight and a half months in the hospital.
Today, he faces considerable physical and mental rehabilitative challenges. He cannot walk, is confined to a wheelchair, has difficulty speaking, and will require 24-hour care for the remainder of his life. Our attorneys filed a product liability lawsuit on behalf of the boy and his family, naming the product manufacturer and the organization that certified the safe use of the metal bat in baseball games involving children.
Although wood bats have been a long-accepted feature of youth baseball, aluminum bats arrived on the scene in the 1970’s and have since been adapted to provide “high performance.” These aluminum and composite bats are far more dangerous than their wood counterparts, increasing the speed at which the balls exit the bat and travel toward young children. The increased exit velocity has significantly reduced the amount of time that pitchers and infielders have to react when a hit occurs. As such, experts in this field have widely acknowledged the unacceptable risk associated with the use of high performance bats among children.
In the lawsuit, our attorneys argued the bat in this case constitutes a defective product, and the company failed to warn consumers of the inherent risks associated with its use in youth sports. Although nothing can turn back the clock and prevent the catastrophic event that altered the course of this young boy’s life, we were able to obtain $14,500,000 for this victim and his family. In the form of damages, the law provides innocent victims like this one with a means by which to hold individuals and organizations accountable for their negligence, and to pay for the care they need.
New Jersey Child Product Defect Injury Attorneys
If your child has been injured by a defective product in New Jersey, it is important to seek knowledgeable legal guidance from an attorney who can explain the options you may have. Our highly experienced NJ child injury lawyers represent infants and children throughout New Jersey who have suffered harm resulting from product defects, medical malpractice, and other forms of negligence. We are always available to provide you with a free consultation, so call 866-708-8617 or send us a message today to arrange yours.