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Louisville Slugger Lawsuit Settled For $14.5 Million

Wayne family will receive approximately $10.2 million out of $14.5 million settlement.

The former Wayne Little Leaguer who suffered brain damage after a line drive struck his chest will receive more than $9 million after a $14.5 million settlement was reached with the maker of Louisville Slugger bats, the Sports Authority, and the New Jersey State Little League.

Steven Domalewski was struck in the chest between heartbeats by a line drive while pitching in a 2006 Little League game. His heart stopped beating, depriving his brain of oxygen for between 15 and 20 minutes.

The settlement was finalized before state Superior Court Judge Garry Rothstadt Wednesday.

“He’ll have more than enough to last him for the res of his life,” Domalewski’s father Joseph said outside the family’s Wilson Avenue home Wednesday. He declined further comment.

Domalewski’s mother Nancy, acted as his guardian ad litem during the proceedings.

Ernest Fronzuto, the lawyer representing the family, did not return messages seeking comment.

The case was scheduled to Sept. 10 in state Superior Court.

Of the $14.5 million, nearly $9.1 million will go toward Domalewski’s care. Joseph Domalewski will receive $1.6 million. The Fronzuto Law Group will receive approximately $4.1 million for fees, unreimbursed costs, and expenses.

Superior Court Judge Margaret McVeigh will approve the terms of the settlement disbursement to assure that Domalewski will “be best positioned to derive maximum benefit from the proceeds,” Rothstadt’s approval order states.

Domalewski has received continuous physical therapy since the accident. He has made significant improvements lately. He can answer “yes” and “no” to questions now and can walk with help from his father. He attended his high school prom last year.

The community has offered the family continual support since the accident.

Hundreds of people last year.

For more information about Domalewski and his ongoing battle, click here.

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

stewart resmer August 22, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Rumor has it that she became a judge because 1, there was a political calculation to fill the bench with a woman and 2, no one else would take it. They say she is Solomon like in her decisions, except that she will tear the baby in half. Google Judge Mary Margaret McVeigh and read the rest, dont take my word for it. Then tell me if you would rather have tenured judges or vote them in or out of office?
stewart resmer August 22, 2012 at 11:40 PM
expenses like $3.00 a page for photocopies at the courthouse you mean?
Justice August 23, 2012 at 12:01 AM
I do not believe in tenure. Corporate America does not have tenure, why should others have it? Other than a few good employees, tenure breeds cesspools of incompetence, in addition to the Peter Principle types of actions.. I think that for judges to be tenured de-profesionalizes them. I think that Governor Christie should have his way with the elimination of tenure for judges. The system is a wormhole for corruption for those that are weak and can be bought.
Justice August 23, 2012 at 12:02 AM
$3.00 a page for copies at the courthouse? I just paid $.05 a page for FOIA copies.
Bill August 23, 2012 at 12:05 AM
So which of our brilliant governors would place a female for the sake of a female at the bench, without any apparent credentials.
stewart pidd August 23, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Ok so not to demean in any way the struggles this family has endured, now that they've been awarded the golden goose, how about making a charitable donation equal to the amount equal to what they've taken in from fundraisers, kids outside the A&P, etc. I have dropped $100 bills into their cans - more than once. Now that they've got it back (and more) lets see how they return the favor to the community.
Pat Lowe August 23, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Ok, you are bashing the judge but the point is a child that was severely damaged finally got a settlement. i'm sure they would rather have their son back. This is sad.
Donatello Nobatti August 23, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Wish the writer of this article would have dedicated a paragraph explaining exactly why the bat company was considered responsible for Steven's injury.
Leila Oxford August 23, 2012 at 04:41 AM
Pat I agree with you that they would rather have their son back. Until you have walked in their shoes you have no idea what they are going through. I am not sure how or why the bat company, Sports Authority or NJ Little League were responsible for this accident. Best wishes and continued improvement to Steven and his family. Stewart Pidd you chose to put that money in the donation cans, the family has always been grateful for all of the community efforts.
Joe videodummy August 23, 2012 at 05:38 AM
Yes, it is nice that the Domalewskis will be able to properly provide for their son, and the incident did receive national attention. Since then, many "good" things have happened and changes are still taking place. Aluminum bats are still better than wood bats because the "trampoline" speed can be adjusted, heart guard materials have become more durable and comfortable, Defibulators are becoming mandatory equipment on sports fields, and less parents are dropping off their young player and leaving until the game is over. Steven had his dad at his side, and I doubt there wasn't any other place he wanted him to be at that moment.
Justice August 23, 2012 at 05:48 AM
Pat, do you know this judge that you are defending? You are both about the same age? Oh, I see, did she find in your favor for your estate matter? Interesting.
Chris Traynor August 23, 2012 at 07:00 AM
An Opinion Yes, this is more a "post" than genuine journalism - there are too many missing elements for it to qualify as a news piece. That said, I wouldn't want Mr. Hubbard's job. As the editor/main writer, he is spread way too thin to get the job done in any traditional sense. I'm sure readers would like to know the essence of the plaintiff's argument & the reasons for the quick settlement. Quotes from either party would have helped but, again, I'm not sure Mr. Hubbard has the time to prepare articles that truly illuminate. I'm certain his budget is threadbare & that he acts as his own support team. As for me, while I don't understand the manufacturer's culpability, I'm really happy for the Domalewskis. Have gone through a medical catastrophe myself & having witnessed what its done to our finances, our dreams & our ability to provide the best healthcare for ourselves, I feel the gravity of their situation & I know the fear they feel for their son's lifelong care.This is NO cash windfall for Steven's family - I'm sure they'd give it (and all their possessions) back in a second if it meant their son would return. For those, including myself, who have given to the family before ... look at that as an investment in "your eternal soul" or, if you're less "biblical", call it a small karmic "tune-up." This isn't a good time for sour grapes - because, ultimately, you're the one who ends up choking on their bitterness ... no one else. It may not be textbook, but this is justice.
stewart resmer August 23, 2012 at 08:58 AM
Uh Pat? Judge bashing? As a long time realtor in the area I am sure that at one time or another you have been before McViegh and surely you must know what her record on the bench has been and who the ususal players are in her courtroom. Talk of the town is that there are some pretty tatsy realestate deal leads coming out of the chancery court and time and again the same notable perosnalities are the beneficiaries of assets that are liquidated out of that court. This is not about judge bashing this is more about whom this judge appoints only to loot the accounts at what costs.
Scondo August 23, 2012 at 11:53 AM
It was a settlement, not a verdict. There was no finding of responsibility. A business decision was made to settle, why? Maybe to avoid precedent, to avoid higher verdict, maybe on family part to avoid a no cause. This also sounds like a structured settlement. The details are sealed by agreement. Structured settlements speak to lifetime payout.
Scondo August 23, 2012 at 12:40 PM
There is no finding of culpability, in a settlement. I also completely agree with your assessment. Catastrophic illness or injury is a terrible burden.
Pat Lowe August 23, 2012 at 01:18 PM
I don't even know Judge McVeigh. I make it a practice to stay out of the courts. I thought this was a story about a child that lost his future. Why does it always have to be political here ?
stewart resmer August 23, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Excuse me Pat this is not political, in this article and others Judge McVeigh is named as the judge who will be tasked with approving the disbursements. What I have come to learn is that this court in particular has come under severe criticism and scrutiny over the way the estates of families are looted by this judges appointees for high priced fees for services this judge routinely approves. I have called this families attorney and left a message warning him to keep this family out of that court room, anyone but McVeigh I say. I have more to add but the State Attorney Generals Office of Corruption has not completed its invesitgation of a litigant whom McVeigh has upheld in her court. There is also word of an FBI investigation as well. We shall all see how this plays out in due time.
wyldthang18 August 23, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Can someone provide an explanation for me please? Why are baseball teams, be it little league or rec teams etc., still allowed to use metal bats? Professional teams use wooden bats so why can't we just fix the problem by banning metal bats from play?
eyes wide shut August 23, 2012 at 01:48 PM
How about best wishes for the family? The same people spin things way out of the ordinary. Lets hope no other child is hurt like this.
Pat Lowe August 23, 2012 at 01:51 PM
touche
wyldthang18 August 23, 2012 at 01:57 PM
of course eyes, but now that this has happened it needs to be fixed so no other family has to endure.
Brad August 23, 2012 at 02:38 PM
it is still a frivilous lawsuit... It was an accident and leave it at that. Everytime someone gets hurt they want to sue. That is how most people afford to live in Wayne by suing someone. I know two people I grew up with did this. at a baby got his hand in a treadmill and has a scar on his hand, sued the treadmill company, another fell in a crib and has a scar on his eybrow, sue the crib maker. It is the lazy american dream sue someone and not have to work. Accidents happen and it sucks but no reason to sue all the time. If a kid falls on the curb are you going to sue the town and the cement company too?
Justice August 23, 2012 at 06:00 PM
There is nothing political about exposing a judge for what they do to the public. Judges in New Jersey are appointed, not elected. This particular one was prematurely and regrettably appointed by Governor Florio, who felt the pressure to place females on the bench, whether or not they were actually qualified. As a matter of fact, this particular judge wasn't any good as an attorney either.
Justice August 23, 2012 at 06:12 PM
It is unfortunate that some posters are calling this lawsuit frivolous; when the fact of the matter is that this family will never be whole again and the expenses required for Steven's medical and otherwise care far exceeds the settlement provided. An illness or injury of this magnitude affects the entire family, not just the afflicted. Simple things like going to work, let alone to be able to keep the job become severely impacted. Loss of a job means loss of insurance benefits (if the job even had that to begin with). Insurance benefits do not cover everything medically, much less other costs, such as transportation, cognitive therapy (for Steven), household chores, landscaping details, etc. etc. EVERYTHING is impacted. I don't know for sure, but I imagine the family would rather have their son back than the award.
Nose Wayne August 24, 2012 at 12:41 AM
THANK YOU JUSTICE !!!! For 7 years, this family went thru so much pain and stress not knowing that their son would ever be normal again. Some of you on here should be ashamed of yourselves saying the things you have been saying.You are so quick to knock someone who has had their life turned upside down.I'm glad with the settlement and hopefully they can get their lives somewhat back to normal.GOD BLESS YOU DOMALESKI FAMILY !!!!
mike August 26, 2012 at 02:01 PM
While I understand it is a great misfortune that happened, who's fault is it? Let's sue all the people watching the game too, the coaches for pushing the kids to play better, How about assuming the risk when you sign your kid up? Fault, who's fault, it was an accident plain and simple. Accidents happen, it wasn't like the other kid hitting the ball was trying to hurt anyone. I am sure when the bat was made it was not labled as a weapon. So, now you have money, an insurance company paid out a large sum, when the younger generation grows up and says what's baseball, or why is it so expensive to play little league... We can look back and understand. I am very understanding of what happened, just don't agree with the way the justice system works
mike August 26, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Just a simple question, if anyone here had started a company making baseballs, then you get sued because one of your basballs hurt a child what would you do??? Let's say the suit is enough to make you close the buisness, lay off your workforce, cancelling all of there health care, putting many families out. Then you would think a bit different. Just looking at it from a different view
Justice August 26, 2012 at 02:20 PM
I don't understand why the settlement amount wasn't sealed; after all, it does involve a minor. I think that the backlash is due to the AMOUNT of the settlement as opposed to the settlement; had the amount been minuscule, there would be no critiquing of the case. It is a good thing the case did not go to a JURY trial. Noting all the comments, Steven would have received a big fat ZERO. People, remember this: do NOT have a JURY TRIAL if you are ever seriously injured. Just go on welfare, food stamps, become homeless, off the grid. Then the same people who critiqued the settlement will critique you for being a burden to the taxpayers. People are unbelievable: they will wave their flags, kumbaya, kiss xxx, as long as it gets them something. Otherwise, if a person is on the other side of the mob mentality, they will be xcrewed, blued and tattooed.
Morris County September 22, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Wow, if this is a sampling of how people are in Wayne, I'm really glad I don't live there.
Scondo September 22, 2012 at 02:32 PM
And in reading your vapid comment, I am left with the idea that there is mutuality of feeling.

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