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Should Bat Maker be Liable for Athlete's Death?

Posted by mikeyactive on Oct 29, 2009 5:20:23 PM

Sporting goods manufacturers may be hazardous to your health.


That's the word coming out of Montana as a jury found aluminum bat manufacturer Hillerich & Bradsby(maker of Louisville Slugger) liable for the 2003 death of prep baseball pitcher Brandon Patch. (Local paper's coverage of the ruling)


The crux of the prosecution's argument in civil court was that Hillerich & Bradsby failed to provide adequate warning as to the dangers of their aluminum bats. Though I'm saddened to hear of the tragedy that has befallen the Patch family, I'm not entirely sure what "adequate warning" means.


A label on the bat? A signed waiver accompanying each Louisville Slugger? A safety coordinator at each youth baseball game in the country explaining what "can happen" when a ball pings off a bat?


I'd be curious to see what you folks think. I believe this ruling could have long-lasting consequences to youth sports in this country.

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