Georgia Youth Baseball Still Using Metal Bats Despite Dangers


September 22, 2011

Aluminum bats have long been a standard piece of sports equipment in Atlanta high schools and little league baseball leagues throughout Georgia. The bats are lighter than wooden bats making it easier for high school athletes to hit home runs.

However, these metal bats can act like a trampoline when the ball comes off the bat, and cause catastrophic head injuries to players in the field. A baseball can travel at speeds in excess of 130 mph when it comes off of a metal bat and cause permanent catastrophic head injuries when the baseball strikes a player in the head, which can lead to permanent impairment of mental functioning including loss of communication ability, sensation and cognitive skills.

Some states have considered the issue of banning metal bats because of the risk of serious injury. The problem with metal bats is that the ball comes off a metal bat at higher rates of speed than a wooden bat. Metal bats used in Georgia youth baseball leagues can tragically cause fatal injuries as well as catastrophic head injuries, including leaving a baseball player in youth and high school leagues in a persistent vegetative state.

The manufacturer of a metal bat can be liable for injuries that result from failing to provide adequate warnings regarding the potential dangers. An example is a verdict of $850,000 awarded to a family of a high school boy in a Montana case against Louisville Slugger for failure to warn of the increased velocity associated with the metal bat. The boy was pitching and had no chance to react because of the speed the ball was traveling when hit. Reports indicate that the ball struck the boy in the head and was propelled as far as fifty feet in the air after striking the boy in the head. The boy immediately suffered seizures and died later that day.

There has been an increasing push to ban metal bats in youth leagues in response to incidents like these. Some sports leagues have taken it upon themselves to ban the metal bats to avoid such tragic injury. These tragic accidents are all the more heartbreaking because the only reason to use the metal bats instead of wooden bats is to hit more home runs. A higher number of home runs would seem a very high price to pay for an increased risk of traumatic head injuries and fatalities.

Many metal bats are exceedingly springy composite bats that literally function as a trampoline launching the ball. At the very least, metal bats should be limited to conform to specifications that approximate wood models and/or carry clear warnings of the risk posed from the increased speed of baseballs hit by metal bats. It also is worth noting that many children in youth leagues may not appreciate the nature of the increased risk even with a warning. If your child has been injured in a sports-related accident, including injuries caused by a metal bat, the experienced Georgia personal injury lawyers at Montlick and Associates offer a free case evaluation so that we can determine whether you may have a right to financial compensation from the bat manufacturer or other possible negligent parties such as the school district, coaches, sports league or other parties.

Our Atlanta personal injury lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.