June 22, 2012

Spectator Sues Little Leaguer Over Errant Bullpen Throw: A Manchester, N.J., woman has filed a $500,000 lawsuit against the Little League player who threw a ball that hit her in the face, causing multiple fractures. Matthew Migliaccio, 11 when the incident occurred in May 2010, was warming up a pitcher in the bullpen when he tossed a ball that hit Elizabeth Lloyd in the face as she sat five feet away. She claims he threw it on purpose. He says it was accidental.

posted by rcade to baseball at 08:06 PM - 6 comments

That article isn't viewable; when you go there, it has a popup that says "We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access" and if you click the (X) on the dialog, it just redirects you to www.app.com.

posted by hincandenza at 09:11 PM on June 22, 2012

Freakin' leaky paywalls. It works for me. Here's a ABC News account.

I don't understand how Little League's insurance would not cover an accident involving one of its players.

posted by rcade at 09:35 PM on June 22, 2012

I've never seen a serious accident happen to a fan that involved a youth player. Of course, I've never seen anyone sit 5 feet away from an 11 year old tossing a ball unless there was a backstop between them.

posted by kcfan4life at 10:01 PM on June 22, 2012

I hope this doesn't sour the kid on baseball. She should be ashamed of herself. What a disgusting display of greed.

posted by evixir at 10:03 PM on June 22, 2012

It may be greed. But if she has serious medical problems as a result of the accident and inadequate health insurance, a lawsuit may be her only option to afford her care.

I am surprised that Little League insurance does not cover a player sued for a game-related activity.

posted by rcade at 11:17 PM on June 22, 2012

For those who still can't access it, here's some excerpts from the Asbury Park Press article; sorry it's long. Given this suit was filed right at NJ's 2-year deadline for civil suits, and this woman should know even Major League players throw balls wide or long, her action is suspect. The fact the signs cover batted balls, in my mind, should be irrelevant. The idea is fans can be struck by baseballs.

MANCHESTER Two years ago, Matthew Migliaccio was doing what any Little League catcher would do before a game: helping a pitcher with his bullpen session.

Matthew, then 11, says he overthrew the pitcher. The ball struck a spectator named Elizabeth Lloyd in the face.

Lloyd, who was watching her son play, was sitting at a picnic table 5 feet from the fenced-in bullpen area, which is down the third base line. She suffered multiple fractures.

"I ran over to see if she was all right," Matthew, now 13, said during an interview, with his father at his side. "She said she was OK. I was just on with warming the pitcher up, and I was not horsing around."

Lloyd, 45, of the Whiting section of Manchester, recently filed a lawsuit against the teen, seeking $500,000 in damages.

Riaz A. Mian, Lloyd's attorney, filed the suit April 24 in state Superior Court, Law Division. No court date has been set. Mian said the damages his client is seeking is the maximum that the family's homeowners insurance policy covers.

According to the lawsuit, Lloyd contends Matthew intentionally struck her, causing permanent injuries. Mian said the suit was filed after attempts to reach a settlement with insurance companies failed.

"He throws his best fast ball over the bullpen into the picnic area, striking my client in the face," Mian said. "Life is now different for my client."

Mian said Lloyd who was taken to a hospital emergency room after the May 2010 incident had to undergo reconstructive surgery and suffers from headaches.

Each of the fields at the Manchester Little League Complex has signs warning spectators of foul balls, but none mention the risk of overthrown balls.

Steve Barr, media relations director for Little League, said leagues are only required to have insurance for players and coaches not spectators. The accident insurance has been a requirement of local leagues since 1957.

posted by jjzucal at 01:41 PM on June 23, 2012

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