By Cameron Smith
In what can only be described as one of the most bizarre lawsuits ever filed, a New Jersey woman is suing an area 13-year-old because she suffered injuries after he made an errant throw at a Little League game. Making the case more extreme is the fact that the prospective defendant wasn't even 13 when he made the throw that accidentally struck the victim: He was 11.
As first reported by the Asbury Park Press and quickly followed upon by the Associated Press and a variety of other sources, Manchester Township, N.J., resident Elizabeth Lloyd has filed a lawsuit seeking an astounding $150,000 in damages related to medical costs incurred after suffering an injury at a Manchester Little League game in 2010. The $150,000 total reportedly doesn't even include an additional unspecified sum being sought for pain and suffering.
The accident which eventually led to Lloyd's suit came when a catcher, then 11-year-old Matthew Migliaccio, attempted to throw a ball back to a pitcher in the bullpen while he was warming up the reliever. Migliaccio's throw soared above the pitcher's glove and somehow escaped from the fenced-in bullpen at the Little League facility, eventually striking Lloyd in the face at the picnic table at which she was sitting.
Migliaccio and his family's representatives have steadfastly insisted the injury was the result of a genuine accident, but Lloyd and her lawyers are now claiming that the young catcher's throw was intentionally offline, leading to "severe, painful and permanent injuries." Lloyd's lawsuit hascategorized the elementary schooler's throw as assault and battery.
Another claim in the suit seeks to prove that Migliaccio was involved in "inappropriate physical and/or sporting activity" near Lloyd when she was struck. Making matters worse for the now 13-year-old, Lloyd's husband has also filed suit against the Migliaccio family, claiming that he has lost the "services, society and consortium of his wife" as a result of her injuries.
As one might expect (and perhaps hope), the lawyer representing the Migliaccio family is desperately attempting to have all three claims dismissed as utterly frivolous.
"I just think that it's disgusting that you have people suing an 11-year-old kid for overthrowing his pitcher in the bullpen," Anthony Pagano, who is representing the Migliaccio family, told the AP. "It's horrible this can actually happen and get this far. Ultimately, hopefully, justice will prevail."
As for the family of the prospective defendant, the boy's father insisted they cannot even believe that their son's bullpen accident has reached the lawsuit stage.
"The whole thing has almost been surreal," Bob Migliaccio, Matthew's father, told the AP. "We keep thinking it's just going to go away, and then a week and a half ago a sheriff shows up at my door to serve my son the papers.
"It's absurd to expect every 11-year-old to throw the ball on target. 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."