Fan Injured By Maple Bat Loses in Court | Athletic Business

Fan Injured By Maple Bat Loses in Court

The New York Mets can go back to just worrying about winning games - a judge on Wednesday tossed a lawsuit filed by a fan who was injured by the barrel of a maple bat in a 2007 game. James G. Falzon suffered multiple facial fractures, including a broken palate, when a bat owned by then-Mets catcher Ramon Castro and swung by Mets second baseman Luis Castillo shattered, pieces of which flew into the third-base stands. Falzon claimed that Major League Baseball and the Mets failed to keep spectators "reasonably safe from hazards they had actual knowledge of, including the increased danger posed by shattering maple bats," but the team's attorneys argued that Falzon and his 11-year-old son were warned of the potential dangers, voluntarily sat in an unprotected area of the stadium and did not ask to be moved to a safer area (such as the part of the bowl protected by a screen).

Falzon's attorney says he will pursue an appeal in the case, which also names Castro and Castillo. A separate lawsuit, which accuses Rye, N.Y.-based Rawlings-brand bat manufacturer Jarden Corp. of producing an "inherently dangerous" bat, is ongoing.

An MLB committee studying maple bats in 2008 found they were three times as likely to break in multiple places as ash bats. After the 2008 season, the league set new bat production standards that it says have cut the breakage rate by nearly half.

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