Thursday, July 18, 2013

Parents sue Little League for $1M after kid is hurt by 'illegal metal bat'

The parents of a Texas Little League pitcher have filed a million-dollar lawsuit after their 12-year-old son was hit in the face during a line drive by a player who they claim used an altered bat.

Emmett Parsutt Jr. was starting pitcher for the Santa Fe All-Stars during the July 1 game against the League City All-Stars.

In the fifth inning, the ball struck the boy in the head with "tremendous force - far beyond that of a regulation bat - and injured him," the lawsuit claims.

Through-out the game, which League City won 8-0, suspicions arose that the rival team was using an illegal metal bat.

Little League baseball has specifications regarding the licensing and use of metal bats since 2010.

"The umpire, when I was walking around, said something sounds funny on the bat they're using, the ball is coming off really, really different," Bryan Alexander, the manager of Emmett's team, told KHOU 11 News. "We started noticing everyone on the team was using the same bat."

When Parsutt's parents and coaches ran to help him, a League City parent took the bat to the parking lot and locked it in his car, the suit alleges, then refused requests to let others examine it.

At that point, Texas City police were called, and the child was taken off the field on a stretcher then rushed to hospital in an ambulance.

The Little Leaguer still suffers eye twitches and headaches and will have to sit out the rest of the season. He said himself, he noticed something askew about the other team's bat.

"I thought I was throwing a good game," Parsutt Jr. told KHOU. "They just kept hitting it and then I took the line drive."

A Little League official told KHOU the "altered" bat was sent to League headquarters in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where it was determined and confirmed by the manufacturer to have not been altered in any way.

The family's attorney, Charles McMillan, suspects foul play, and claims the bat that was sent away wasn't the one used in the incident.

"We know Little League International has done an investigation on a bat. We just don't know what bat it was," McMillan said.

The president of League City Little League said the bat had been used all season long without any trouble.

The parents are now suing both League City Little League and Little League Baseball.

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