The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 15, 2012

Litigious woman is Cruella of Little League

By Kelly Kazek

— I think I finally found a way to get rich. Yep, I’m going to hang around down at the Little League field and hope to get hit by an errant baseball.

You may be thinking I’ve already been struck in the head considering this doesn’t seem like a very rational way to earn money (like being a journalist is?).

I got the idea from a New Jersey couple that thinks a similar accident that occurred two years ago could be the answer to their dreams.

Last month, Elizabeth Lloyd, 45, of Manchester, N.J., sued Matthew Migliaccio for assault claiming she was seriously injured by a baseball the boy accidentally overthrew at a ballfield when he was 11 years old.

Lloyd is seeking $150,000 in damages and an undetermined amount for suffering from the boy, and even insisted the now 13-year-old be served with papers at his home.

Well, sure. And when the court discovers little Matt doesn’t have $150,000 in his piggy bank, the judge can place a lien on his collection of Star Wars memorabilia and his future college fund.

I am truly discombobulated over this woman’s actions. Didn’t she realize that, at the majority of baseball parks in this country, baseballs are thrown and some are even hit with bats in an effort to make them travel long distances?

Matt’s father said Lloyd initially seemed fine after the ball struck her in the face but later found she had facial fractures. While I’m sure that was extremely painful and understand the need to blame someone, surely Lloyd could have found a more suitable target. The baseball manufacturer? The Little League? The fence company for making the bullpen fence too short? The corn dog that was holding her attention when the incident occurred?

According to Matt’s dad, Lloyd soon began sending threatening letters to his family, culminating recently in the lawsuit filed just weeks before the statue of limitations ran out on assault and battery charges. When I read this report by the Associated Press, I wondered if the ages had been switched and Elizabeth Lloyd was the 11-year-old.

More disturbing than Lloyd’s claim, though, is the lawsuit brought by her husband against Matt. He is suing the boy for the loss of “services, society and consortium” of his wife. Hmmmm. If I am translating my legaleeze correctly, I think that means his wife hasn’t been very cordial toward him since she got beaned. Not to be judgmental, because I don’t know these people and what goes on in the privacy of their court documents, but she does seem a little like the type who would make fur coats out of Dalmatian puppies.

Just sayin.’

Realistically, people who go to ballparks are subject to all the fine print and hurriedly uttered disclaimers herein, such as “attendees assume all risks.” The only way the Lloyds can win their claim is to assert that 11-year-old Matt intentionally threw the ball 60 feet from the bullpen and managed to strike his target smack in the face.

All I have to say is, if Lloyd wins this argument, the Braves better get on the stick and recruit that boy. He’ll have quite a future.

Personally, I think an inmate in Florida has better odds of winning his lawsuit, which claims the Brevard County Detention Center is torturing him by making him watch the same movies over and over.

James Poulin, 45, filed suit last year saying that during his four years of incarceration awaiting trial in his DUI-manslaughter case he was forced to watch “Black Hawk Down,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Battle Front” and “Pearl Harbor”  hundreds of times each.

“Like the old Chinese water torture, the inescapable sounds of these movies over and over works on nerves and psyche,” he told a reporter, a quote which leads me to think perhaps the prison system has overdone the war movies just a scoche.

Poulin said the forced viewing was due to a ban on broadcast television at the facility but an administrator said inmates are free to stay in their cells.

And do what? Read a book or something?

What has America come to when we expect accused criminals to find ways to alleviate their own boredom? Why do you think they have time to research and file all these lawsuits? Get that boy a real movie, people. I’m thinking he might like “The Hangover,” or maybe “Madea’s Witness Protection.”

We wouldn’t want to work his nerves.