Daily Buzz: Little League home-plate helmet toss leads to lawsuit

A baseball player discarding his helmet as he approached home plate following a walk-off hit is a tradition as old as the helmet, itself. But in California, one Little Leaguer is being sued for more than a half-million dollars for his celebratory helmet toss — and the plaintiff is his coach.

According to KCRA in Sacramento, Joe Paris’ 14-year-old son scored from second on a teammate’s hit to win a recent Lakeside Little League game, and as Paris crossed home plate, he threw his helmet into the air.

That helmet, according to a lawsuit filed by Paris’ coach Alan Beck, hit Beck’s Achilles tendon and tore it. Now Beck, a chiropractor, is seeking $100,000 to cover lost wages and medical bills and an additional $500,000 compensation for pain and suffering.

“I don’t think the boy meant to harm him,” Gene Goldsman, Beck’s attorney, told KCRA. “But, this wasn’t a part of the game. A guy who volunteers his time to coach should not be subjected to someone who throws a helmet in the manner that he did. What the kid did, it crossed the line.”

Paris’ father, who said that his family has already paid $4,000 in legal fees and didn’t have homeowner’s insurance to cover the damages in the lawsuit, was understandably upset by the claim.

“At first I thought it was joke,” he told KCRA. “Now, I think it’s absurd.”

The case is set to go to before a judge in March. At that point, attorney Bill Portanova told KCRA, there’s a decent chance the lawsuit could be thrown out.

“If he deliberately hurt somebody, then it’s a stronger case and a stronger case that his parents could be held liable,” Portanova told the station. “But kids playing a kids’ game in a contact sport — and baseball is a contact sport — that’s going to be a tougher case.”

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