Injured Boy’s Parents Sue Baseball Bat Maker

CHICAGO (STMW) — A couple has sued the maker of the metal bat, after their son suffered a brain injury from being struck by a baseball hit off one of the bats.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago on Tuesday by Robert and Cheryl Schutter of Mokena, says their son, 11-year-old Jake Schutter, was pitching in a game for the Mokena Blaze on May 5 in Hecht Park in Mokena.

It was the bottom of the fifth with two outs when a batter stepped up to the plate with an Easton BT265 bat, the suit says.

That model, according to the suit, is a composite bat “constructed with the same aluminum exterior of a standard aluminum baseball bat and a graphite wall on the inside, which provides an advantageous swing weight and an improved ‘trampoline effect’ of the baseball off of the bat over a standard aluminum bat.”

Easton-Bell Sports Inc. designed, manufactured and tested bats to maximize “exit velocity” — or speed at which a baseball comes off the bat, the suit says. In one advertisement, Easton marketed the bat by featuring professional athletes hitting baseballs through cement walls with their bats.

With two strikes on the batter, Jake threw a third pitch and the batter hit a line drive directly at the pitcher’s mound. The ball struck Jake in the left side of the head.

The suit claims the boy did not have the time or ability to react before being hit. After the ball struck him, Jake was knocked to the ground and began vomiting repeatedly. As a result of the impact, he suffered a brain injury and is now deaf in his left ear.

The family’s attorney, Antonio Romanucci of Chicago, said in a release, “The Easton-Bell metal bat essentially caused this injury. Easton-Bell markets a product for use by children whose exit speed of the ball off the metal bat does not match the required perceived reaction time of the pitcher who stands 42-46 feet away.

“A pitcher or other player simply cannot defend himself against such a powerfully-hit line drive,” the attorney said.

The suit claims that because of the design and construction of the bat, the exit speed of the baseball was so great that Jake was unable to react to protect himself. The suit claims Easton failed to observe known safety hazards and the danger of serious bodily injury to pitchers.

The suit seeks damages of at least $75,000. A spokesperson for Easton was not immediately available for comment Tuesday morning.

Easton created the first aluminum baseball bat in 1969, according to the company’s website.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Greg

    sue sue sue and then pray to your god for your son’s slow reactions ~

    • Honest Guy


  • Straight Shooter

    I feel really bad for this kid but what his parents are doing is just wrong. It’s people like them that have made society what it is today by finding anyone to sue. This was an accident. When you play sports you take a risk of injury and unfortunately the injury occured here. It doesn’t matter who made the bat or what kind of bat it was. The guy at bat just was a good hitter and this little boy wasn’t able to get out of the way. No one or no thing is at fault here. Let’s stop with this ridiculous lawsuits that are bleeding people dry. I mean should we sue bat makers when someone is robbed and assaulted with one because they made a bat that was too hard?

  • Joe Dimaggio

    Hey he should have thrown a better pitch! This lawsuit is wrong and a waste of taxpayer money. I think it goes without saying that a person takes risks on any sports field, Give me a break!!!

  • Cub

    OMG!!! MORE PEOPLE SUING OVER THE STUPIDEST THINGS JUST SO THEY DONT HAVE TO WORK ANYMORE,, WHEN U GOT HURT BACK IN THE 60’S 70’S .. DID UR PARENTS SUE,, NOOOOOOO WHY CUZ ITS A SPORT AND THINGS HAPPEN.. its allllllll about money !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.. u take th chance when u join ur kids up for sports !!!!!!

  • Jen Zak

    What I’ve yet to hear is who owns the bat? Who allowed the kid to use the bat? What number lawsuit is this that the parents have filed? Those are the questions that matter.
    Maybe the PARENTS should have read the wavier they signed a little bit better. Play at your own risk.
    Injuries like this don’t have to happen but until those bats are outlawed by the league there is nothing that can be done. I wonder what kind of bat Jake was using that day?

  • BDUB

    People like these parents are the reason our country is so messed up. They are just money hungry. Thats to bad your son got injured but that doesn’t mean that you have to sue the bat company for it. Why not sue the company that made the baseball as well, i mean it shouldn’t be that hard. If it was softer it wouldn’t have hurt so much.
    ITs a sport, injuries happen. Accept it. Don’t sue over it. People like this shouldn’t be allowed to breed. They are just teaching the kid that if they get hurt or something doesn’t go their way, sue the person. Great parenting.

  • lazy d

    Sue the pants off the company! What the hell is the point of a bat like this, if the pro’s don’t allow them why should they be in the little leagues??

    If it takes a metal bat for your kid to hit well, he can’t hit.

  • Honest Guy

    Why sue the bat company? They didn’t make anyone purchase their product. Suing the league sounds more like the correct route, and even that is insane! Sports are physical and injuries occur. Get serious!

  • A.J.

    Let’s just outlaw baseball and be done with it.
    Hell, why even stop there? Let’s outlaw anything where anybody has the chance of getting hurt.

    Nerf the world! For the Children!

  • Keith Sei
blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live