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Woman hit by ball sues Little Leaguer for $500,000

Jun 22, 2012, 2:51 PM EDT

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Two years and more than $150,000 in medical costs later, a New Jersey woman is suing a Little Leaguer who threw a ball and struck her in the face.

Elizabeth Lloyd was sitting at a picnic table near a fenced-in bullpen when she was hit with the ball. Catcher Matthew Migliaccio, 11 years old at the time, made the throw while warming up a pitcher.

Here’s the AP account:

The lawsuit filed April 24 alleges Migliaccio’s errant throw was intentional and reckless, “assaulted and battered” Lloyd and caused “severe, painful and permanent” injuries.

A second count alleges Migliaccio’s actions were negligent and careless through “engaging in inappropriate physical and/or sporting activity” near Lloyd. She continues to suffer pain and anguish, incur medical expenses and has been unable to carry out her usual duties and activities, the lawsuit says.

And Lloyd’s husband, in a third count, is suing for the loss of “services, society and consortium” of his wife. They’ve demanded a jury trial.

In all, the Lloyd family is seeking $500,000 in damages.

According to the lawyer for the Migliaccio family, Anthony Pagano, the count alleging negligence and carelessness is covered by homeowner’s insurance but the other counts are not. Little League has denied any coverage.

Migliaccio’s father denied that the overthrown ball was intentional.

“It’s absurd to expect every 11-year-old to throw the ball on target,” Migliaccio said. “Everyone knows you’ve got to watch out. You assume some risk when you go out to a field. That’s just part of being at a game.”

No courtdate has been set for the suit.

  1. ironcitydonnieiris - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    As it has been mentioned, on rare occurrences, a toss back to the pitcher from the catcher can be erroneous and not make it directly into the glove.
    I find it even more rare that an 11 year old catcher could target the woman, who was further away than the pitcher (I assume), and hit her square in the face. If that is the case, and the catcher did in fact pull this amazing feat off, the pirates should draft him now!
    In society, I don’t think there is anything that is considered an accident anymore. Now, in this sue happy world, it’s a “cash in opportunity”. A “great lesson” for these children to learn. If something happens to you, see your lawyer. I wonder if this is the same lady that fell into the mall water fountain because she WASN’T PAYING ATTENTION and reading a text message.

  2. thatyankeedude - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    This is insane people need help. One day kids are picking on old women on a bus and the next day an old women is suing a young child for his soul basically. 500 G’s is a ton of money.

    • movinonyoleft - Jun 22, 2012 at 7:49 PM

      I hope this kid is good because there goes college for him because this idiot wasn’t aware of her surroundings.

  3. caladan607 - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    This woman would be wise to accept any pro-offered settlement on the second count to satisfy her greed. If she and her husband pursue the other counts, I hope the court throws them out as nothing more than greed and they should be made to pay the family’s court costs. Going after a kid for playing imperfect baseball is a disgusting display of greed! The commenter’s above make valid points about people trying to cash in and in the process teach selfishness to our kids – i.e. look for opportunities to sue whenever possible. They are also sad statements about our society today. Some people are in serious need of a timeout.

  4. ndrick731 - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Let’s just hope all the lies about injuries she is making up to justify this lawsuit come to fruition and she has as miserable a life for as long as she lives as what she is claiming. But as an ex resident of the state of new jersey this sounds like a normal resident of the state

    • sasquash20 - Jun 22, 2012 at 7:37 PM

      Not everyone in NJ is miserable and sue happy. Greed and miserable people exist everywhere. I am very happy living in NJ.

      Off topic but read if you own a home.
      The only law suit I have is against a insurance company who refuses to pay a claim I have. I even had to hire an insurance adjuster and pay to have the damaged fixed to my house out of my own pocket. I am now trying to get back the money I shouldn’t have had to spend in the first place as it was to be covered by my policy. My adjuster said this is how insurance companies work. In fact they usually deny a claim 4-5 times to try and get you to just eat it. So if you are having issues getting an insurance company to pay get an adjuster and fight the insurance company.

  5. bigleagues - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    I’m thinking we should probably find a way to peacefully but demonstratively send a message to these misguided fools.

    At some point in life people should realize that if you want to avoid getting hit by a ball, then you should probably not sit down near a little league bullpen.

  6. dadawg77 - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Not a lawyer but, it sounds like the lady has been negotiating with the father’s insurance company and couldn’t come to an agreement. So it seems like this lawsuit is an attempt to apply pressure for a settlement and a starting point for those negotiating.

    Also I haven’t seen a report on the injuries the woman suffered, but if 151K was spent on medical expenses it seems bad. It would really suck for a person to go bankrupt and/or suffer a great loss in quality of life from being hit with a baseball while watching a little league game.

    Now this is assuming there was a significant injury and the lawsuit is an attempt to get a better offer from the insurance company. If its not then its hogwash.

    • randomdigits - Jun 22, 2012 at 6:07 PM

      Obviously I have no idea if it is the case here but it is extremely easy to pad medical expenses if you find a willing partner in the medical profession.

  7. protectthishouse54 - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    “the errant throw…assaulted and battered Lloyd.”

    Well in that case, let’s sue the throw! They’re as guilty as anyone. What kind of throw just goes up to an innocent woman and assaults her like that? What is society coming to?? That poor woman.

  8. rooney24 - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    If she is actually injured, I feel sorry for her, and hope she recovers.

    But, if you go to a park where a baseball game was obviously occuring, it is on each person anywhere near that game to be heads up at all times, as a ball could get away from anywhere. I would think you would be considered to have assumed all liability on yourself for sitting near where you know a baseball game is going on. Even people that don’t know a thing about baseball can figure out pretty quickly that a ball is being thrown/hit and there is a chance for injury.

  9. mntreehugger - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    How is this any different than a kid getting beaned while playing the game, from the result of an errant throw that may or may not have been “negligent and careless”?

    the moment you leave your house, you assume all risks inherent to living

    i wonder if knoblauch ever got sued for this…

  10. foreverchipper10 - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    I am officially disgusted.

  11. Walk - Jun 22, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    “‘alleges Migliaccio’s errant throw was intentional and reckless,”
    What? Errant throw as stated means it happend on accident. Intentional means it was on purpose. So she is claiming she got accidentally hit on purpose?

  12. megary - Jun 22, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    No wonder craig quit the legal profession…

  13. gorsk7984 - Jun 22, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Assuming this case is meritless is as silly as assuming it’s a slam dunk. $150,000 is a ton of medical bills. If she has a legit injury, she might be entitled to relief.

    • Kevin S. - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:06 PM

      Only if the kid had any actual liability. I believe baseball fields have assumed liability for all spectators. You can’t sue Chuck Knoblauch because he overthrew the first baseman and you weren’t paying attention when the ball broke your nose.

    • raysfan1 - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:43 PM

      She must first prove damages–easy enough as the medical reports and bills presumably do that. She must also prove negligence– not so easy as the bullpen was fenced and where she sat was possibly near enough to indicate an assumed risk on her part. She is also claiming intentionality; short of the kid pointing and laughing, good luck proving that.

      The parks in our area all have signs indicating entry at own risk. If that park has such signs posted, I think her only chance for relief is proving intentionality by a preponderance of the evidence.

      Of course accepting the $150k presumes truly needing that much reconstruction, as opposed to trying to use the injury as an excuse for cosmetic surgery for example.

      Regardless, I cannot see how a facial injury could lead to a loss of consortium for the husband that could really be the kid’s fault…unless of course lack of oral sex counts.

  14. nflfollower - Jun 22, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    We never had bullpens when I was in little league. Huh.

  15. ndnut - Jun 23, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    I have newfound hope in the NBC Sports community! When I first joined at age 13 two years ago I was ridiculed and called a 50 year old man on PFT. Now I am a recognized commentor on PST and I occasionally visit HBT and drop a few words. Thank you for not making fun of the 13 year old. And BTW, I don’t think this would happen in South Dakota (or any other state not on a coast for that matter ;)).

    • Kevin S. - Jun 23, 2012 at 10:10 PM

      PFT and HBT are two very different commentariats. Hopefully you find the water here more to your liking.

  16. hushbrother - Jun 23, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    I’m sorry, but if you suffer $150,000 worth of injuries from a ball thrown by a Little Leaguer, you are clearly a nincompoop and ought to never leave your house.

  17. gingerkid2000 - Jun 23, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Not to sound cold hearted and malicious, but if this woman got hit by a bus tomorrow she’d be doing society a favor. I can think of moments when I’d like to sue someone but what’s the point of ruining someone else’s life over an accident they probably already feel bad about. We’ve turned into a nanny society because we have to protect ourselves from frivolous lawsuits more than getting hit in the face with a baseball.

  18. twospoonsri - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    The 11 year old should sue the woman for being a complete d*uche…

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