A New Jersey teenager left brain-damaged after being struck by a line drive while he was playing in a youth baseball game will receive $14.5 million to settle his lawsuit against the bat manufacturer, Little League Baseball and a sporting goods chain.
The settlement of Steven Domalewski’s lawsuit was announced in state Superior Court on Wednesday morning in Passaic County. The boy, now 18, lives in Wayne, N.J.
“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 attorney, Ernest Fronzuto. “He still can’t perform any functions of daily life on his own.”
Fronzuto said the settlement precluded him from discussing its details, including whether any of the defendants admitted liability.
Domalewski was pitching when the batter rocketed a line drive off the metal bat he was swinging.
The ball slammed into Steven’s chest, just above his heart, knocking him backward. He clutched his chest, then made a motion to reach for the ball on the ground to pick it up and throw to first base to get the runner out.
But he never made it that far. The ball had struck his chest at the precise millisecond between heartbeats, sending him into cardiac arrest, according to his doctors. He crumpled to the ground and stopped breathing.
His father, Joseph, a teacher who had been on the sideline with the rest of the team, said he and a third base coach from the other team both ran onto the field, where Steven was already turning blue.
Someone yelled, “Call 911!” Within 90 seconds, a man trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation who had been playing catch with his 9-year-old daughter jumped over the fence and started to work on Steven.
Paramedics, who were a quarter-mile away doing a CPR demonstration, got to Steven within minutes, placed an oxygen mask over his face and rushed him to a hospital. But the damage had been done; his brain had been without oxygen for 15 to 20 minutes.
“Pretty much, he died,” Joseph Domalewski said 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.”
Domalewski was playing in a Police Athletic League game, but Little League was sued because the group certifies that specific metal bats are approved for — and safe for — use in games involving children.
Attorneys for Hillerich and Bradsby, manufacturers of the Louisville Slugger brand bat, and The Sports Authority, the national sporting goods retailer, did not immediately return calls seeking comment. An attorney who represented Little League Baseball in the case declined to comment.
The bat manufacturer and Little league Baseball also did not immediately reply to messages left at their corporate headquarters.
Little League reached an agreement with the major manufacturers in the early 1990s to limit metal bats’ performance to that of the best wooden bats. On its website, Little League said injuries to its pitchers fell from 145 a year before the accord was reached to the current level of about 20 to 30 annually.
Little League also said on its website that it has banned most metal bats for younger children for the 2012 season, although certain ones found to meet the organization’s testing standards are allowed to be used. League divisions for older players can use metal bats subject to certain weight and size limits.
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC
More Related Stories
- Radio host tweets rape joke, blames journalists for reporting on it
- Juror responds to Joe Francis' insults with thoughtful email
- New track from the Lonely Island features Solange Knowles, semicolons
- Amazon introduces fan fiction publishing platform
- Naomi Watts, "Argo," "Wonderstone" among bizarre Teen Choice Awards nominees
- Imprisoned Pussy Riot member declares hunger strike
- The camp-free "Behind the Candelabra"
- Justin Bieber will destroy you if you live-tweet his parties
- Marc Maron on Twitter feud with Michael Ian Black: "We have an understanding"
- "Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis to jury: "You should be euthanized"
- Ai Weiwei releases heavy metal music video
- Actually, Beyoncé is a feminist
- Marc Maron and Michael Ian Black's epic Twitter battle
- Cannes: Directing 101 with James Franco
- Welcome to the jungle: The definitive oral history of '80s metal
- Burt Bacharach opens up on daughter's suicide
- Steven Spielberg to produce "Halo" television series
- Amazon set to launch fine-art gallery
- Twitter torches Dan Brown's "Inferno"
- Brad Pitt keeps breaking his silence on how boring marriage to Jennifer Aniston was
- Lars von Trier's "Nymphomaniac" to use porn star body doubles
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11