Stop me if you’ve heard this one before — a 14-year-old Little League player is being sued by his own coach, who claims he was injured when the boy recklessly threw his helmet in celebration. Since I’m fairly confident you’ve never heard that before, allow me to continue.
Joe Paris, the father of the boy (and in this case the defendant), told KCRA in California on Tuesday that his teenaged son has been named in a civil summons filed in Placer County Superior Court. The boy’s former coach, Alan Beck, contends that he “carelessly threw a helmet, striking Plaintiff’s Achilles tendon and tearing it.” Paris said he thought the lawsuit was a joke at first.
“At first I thought it was joke,” he said. “Now, I think it’s absurd.”
Paris said the play occurred when his son was racing toward home plate to score the winning run in a Lakeside Little League game last spring. Like many MLB players have done in similar situations, he threw his helmet in celebration. Now, Beck is seeking $500,000 for pain and suffering and another $100,000 for lost wages and medical bills.
Beck’s attorney Gene Goldsman shed some light on the suit in a phone call with KCRA on Wednesday morning.
“I don’t think the boy meant to harm him,” Goldsman said. “But, this wasn’t a part of the game. A guy who volunteers his time to coach should not be subjected to someone who throws a helmet in the manner that he did. What the kid did, it crossed the line.”
Unless the boy fired the helmet in anger at his coach, we’re pretty confident he didn’t cross the line. While a legal expert told KCRA that children can be sued for their actions in the state of California, he doesn’t expect Beck to have an easy time proving intent to injure on a baseball field.
“If he deliberately hurt somebody, then it’s a stronger case and a stronger case that his parents could be held liable, but kids playing a kids’ game in a contact sport — and baseball is a contact sport — that’s going to be a tougher case,” Bill Portanova explained.
I think we have enough information here to call this one of the most ridiculous lawsuits ever filed. Hopefully a judge feels the same way.
H/T Hardball Talk