DANGERS OF LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL: 11-Year-old Ballplayer Makes Bad Throw, Gets Sued
The headlines made you do a double-take:
“Mom sues 11-year-old Little Leaguer for Errant Throw!”
But it’s true. Two years ago, when then 11-year-old Matt Migliaccio was warming up a pitcher in the bullpen at a LL game in Manchester, NJ, he accidentally overthrew the ball back to his teammate. The ball sailed out of the bullpen and struck a spectator, 45-year-old Elizabeth Lloyd, who was watching the game.
Matt immediately raced over to the woman and offered sincere apologies. She was gracious enough to say she was okay, but a little while later, she did go to get medical help. A day later, Matt’s Dad, Bob Migliaccio sent a most apologetic email to the woman, and her husband wrote back, saying thank you for the note, and don’t worry, she’ll be okay.
But it turns out that she needed reconstructive facial surgery, and by the time everything was done, the medical bills were more than $150,000. Ms. Lloyd wanted somebody to pay for the bills, and eventually it all turned back to the errant throw. Little League Baseball in Williamsport, PA, didn’t return Bob Migliaccio’s calls for help; LL’s stance was that their insurance policy didn’t cover spectator insurance.
And once Bob’s insurance company refused to cover the woman’s bills, her attorney decided to sue the 11-year-old. It’s not quite sure why the boy was sued, but clearly this was an attempt to draw his family’s homeowner insurance policy into the fray.
Bob Migliaccio was a guest on my show this AM, and he presented all of the frustration that this case involves. Then I had attorney Steve Kallas come on to present his legal insights, and Steve felt that this would be an uphill battle for Ms. Lloyd to win in court, but she seemed determined to move ahead.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens next, but in the court of public opinion, most people who called in or who have emailed me have said this was an unfortunate accident…but that 11-year-old kids DO make aberrant throws, and while it’s definitely a shame that Ms Lloyd was hurt, most people felt it’s just not right to sue a kid for making a bad throw at a LL game. What’s your sense? Was this justified?