The family of Steven Domalewski received $14.5 million to settle its lawsuit with Little League Baseball, The Sports Authority and Hillerich and Bradsby on Wednesday.
Domalewski, then nine, was struck in the chest by a line drive while pitching in a Police Athletic League game in 2006. He went into cardiac arrest, and while paramedics were able to get him breathing again, he was left with brain damage after going 15-20 minutes without oxygen.
“The Domalewskis are still saddened by the tragic events of June 2006, but this settlement provides them with some relief and comfort that Steven will get the care he needs for the rest of his life,” said the family’s attorney, Ernest Fronzuto. “He still can’t perform any functions of daily life on his own.”
Although Domalewski wasn’t playing in a Little League game, Little League Baseball did sanction the Louisville Slugger metal bat that was used to hit the liner. The Sports Authority sold the bat, and Hillerich and Bradsby manufactured it. Now each is out millions of dollars because of some very bad luck.
Of course, young Steven’s life was ruined by the incident. Ideally, this money will be used to make sure he’s provided for and treated well. Still, one imagines there will be enough left over for shiny new cars and island getaways for the family and lawyers.
Earlier this year Disney agreed to purchase the majority stake in BAMTech, the digital media company spun off from MLB Advanced Media. We know it as the source of the technology for MLB.tv and MLB.com, but it’s far more wide-ranging than that now. At present it powers streaming for MLB, HBO, NHL, WWE, and, eventually, will power Disney’s and ESPN’s upcoming streaming services.
The company was started by an investment from baseball’s 30 owners, so they’re getting a big payout as a result of the acquisition. Earlier this morning Jim Bowden dropped this regarding how much of that payout is in the offing in the short term:
That’s probably on the low end, actually. Some people I’ve spoken to who are familiar with the acquisition say the figure is more like $68 million in Q1 of 2018.
Good for the owners! It was a savvy, forward-thinking investment that, in the past, baseball owners might not have made. Bud Selig, Bob Bowman and others deserve credit for convincing the Jeff Lorias and Jerry Reinsdorfs of the world to think big and long term. It’s money out of the sky, raining down upon the owner of your baseball team for, basically, doing nothing.
Money which should be remembered when your buddy complains about a relief pitcher getting $6 million for only pitching 65 innings. Money which should be remembered when your team’s GM says that he has to cut back on payroll in the coming year.