A Staten Island, New York father of a 5-year-old boy has filed a $4.5 million lawsuit against the makers of a plastic T-ball bat that allegedly caused severe facial injuries and permanent scarring to his son.
The lawsuit claims that the Adjust-A-Hit T-Ball set was defectively designed, reports the New York Daily News. Daniel Ducalo was injured when a portion of the plastic bat (which adjusts in length telescopically) came apart, sending a jagged piece of plastic into the boy’s face, requiring more than 300 stitches.
Although product liability laws vary by state, in many states a design defect lawsuit must show that is was possible and economically feasible to design the product in a way that would have reduced or eliminated the risk posed by its current design. Expert witnesses to testify would be beneficial.
The boy’s family will need to prove that the product is defective in one or more of three ways: marketing defects, including improper labeling or failure to warn about dangers; a defect in manufacturing, causing unexpected or unintentional risk of injury to the user; or if a design defect occurred when a product is designed in a way that makes it unsafe for use in its intended purpose. The boy’s family is claiming that the design of the bat was defective, making it unsafe even when used correctly.
If the family is successful in proving that the bat was defectively designed, the boy’s father will be entitled to money damages as a result of the boy’s injuries by showing that the manufacturer was negligent in placing the product on the marketplace in its defective condition.
According to the news report, the bat’s manufacturer, Massachusetts-based Franklin Sports Inc. could not be reached for comment.
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