A California Little League baseball coach has filed a civil summons in Placer County Superior Court against a 14-year-old player alleging that he was injured by the boy during a game-winning run.
According to the boy’s father, Joe Paris, his son tossed off his helmet as he ran toward home plate, scoring the winning run in a Lakeside Little League game last spring.
"He was so excited," Paris said.
In court papers, coach Alan Beck says the boy "carelessly threw a helmet, striking Plaintiff's Achilles tendon and tearing it." Beck is seeking $500,000 for pain and suffering, as well as more than $100,000 for lost wages and medical bills.
"At first I thought it was joke," Paris said. "Now, I think it's absurd. I've already spent over $4,000 and we haven't even been in a courtroom yet.”
Legal expert Bill Portanova indicated that children are liable for their actions under California law. "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," Portanova said.
A judge is expected to hear the case in March.