Many California parents enjoy watching their children play Little League in the summer. This sport is intended to teach children about teamwork and competition, while giving them a venue to run off all the energy they have. While Little League baseball seems harmless, accidents can happen and children can get hurt.
Imagine sending your child off to Little League practice only to get a call that he or she has been hit in the head by a baseball. You may wonder what happened but your thoughts ultimately rest on whether your child is okay. Unfortunately you find that the hit cause a serious brain injury and your child may be dealing with the injury for the rest of their life.
Four years after this scenario actually happened to a young boy, his mother recently filed a lawsuit against her county's Little League organization as well as the coach of the team. Regulations require that the children wear a helmet, which the boy was not when he was hit with the baseball. The lawsuit alleges negligence - had the young boy been wearing the helmet, the severe injury may not have occurred.
Because the lawsuit is still in the early stages, there is little information as to what the Little League organization has to say in response to the allegations. However, the mother is seeking compensation for past and future medical expenses.
The boy, who is now a teenager, has had to adjust to a very different life after the head injury. When he was hit in the head, he suffered internal bleeding and bruising in his brain. Now he has problems remembering things, keeping up in school, and dealing with constant headaches. He will likely need medical attention for many years to come.
Could the injury have been avoided had the coach made sure he was wearing a helmet? This is a question that should be answered during the court hearings. But many would agree that a coach should be requiring all the children to wear a helmet during practice and games.
Source: Salem News online, "Mom sues after a ball strikes her son in head," Julie Manganis, 13 July 2011
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