Although I've spent a fair amount of time in jury selection trying to convince potential jurors that they shouldn't jump to conclusions until they've heard all the evidence in a case, I guess that I too am sometimes guilty of the same thing.

I will explain.

Earlier this afternoon, on Monday, August 9, the New York Daily News reported that NY Mets fan James Falzon, who suffered multiple facial fractures that required corrective surgical pinning and plating when he was hit in the face by Luis Castillo's shattered bat, has now sued the bat manufacturer, MLB and the New York Mets.

Now, my initial reaction to this story was, what a frivolous case. After all, when you go to a professional sporting event, you assume the risk that you may be injured by balls or other things flying into the stands. In fact, last time I checked, most ticket stubs will say something like that on the back of it.

But as I read on, I realized that there may be something there.

The essence of the lawsuit, according to his attorney, is that the maple bats that were being used by MLB at that time (and which was involved in this incident) not only had a much higher rate of shattering than those bats that were made of ash, but also posed an unreasonable risk of harm by virtue of the manner in which they shatter - i.e., that they "explode." In legalese, this theory is called "defective design."

And here's where the true question lies: if what the plaintiff is saying is true, and these defendants were using bats that they knew - or should have known - were unreasonably dangerous, shouldn't they bear some responsibility if someone is seriously injured as a result? If not, what incentive do they have to keep the game safe for the fans?

Jonathan Cooper
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Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
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