Steven Domalewski, a teenager from New Jersey who suffered brain damage when he was struck by a line drive while playing in a youth baseball game, will receive $14.5 million to settle his lawsuit against the bat manufacturer, a sporting goods chain and Little League Baseball.
Domalewski, now 18, was hit in the chest in the summer of 2006 while pitching against a hitter using a metal bat. The ball rocketed off the bat straight into his ribs, just above his heart, at what doctors determined was the precise millisecond between heartbeats.
Domalewski went into cardiac arrest. He was without oxygen for 15 to 20 minutes before emergency services resuscitated him.
“Pretty much, he died,” said his father, Joseph Domalewski, in a 2008 interview with the Associated Press. “It was just so fast. The thud, you could hear. When it hit him, that seemed to echo.”
The incident occurred while Domalewski was playing in a Police Athletic League game, but Little League was sued because it had approved specific metal bats for games involving children.
“The Domalewskis are still saddened by the tragic events of June 2006, but this settlement provides them with some relief and comfort that Steven will get the care he needs for the rest of his life,” said the family’s lawyer, Ernest Fronzuto. “He still can’t perform any functions of daily life on his own.”
According to Little League's website, most metal bats for younger children have been banned for the 2012 season. However, certain metal bats that meet the organization's standards are still allowed to be used.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times