Don’t worry Wilson, I’ll do all the suing. You just hang on.
Veteran umpire Ed Hickox doesn’t think so. And he’s suing over it. On April 18, 2009, Hickox was working the plate in the third-ever game at the new Yankee Stadium when a foul tip struck him hard in the mask. He left the game two innings later, and wound up sitting out the rest of the season with a concussion and left ear injury. He returned to duty in 2010, but now, three years after the incident, he’s filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court in New York against Wilson Sporting Goods, the manufacturer of the mask, along with Wilson’s parent company, Amer Sports Corporation of Finland.
...In his complaint, filed by personal injury lawyers Howard Richman of Stony Point, N.Y., and Patrick Regan of Washington, D.C., Hickox accused Wilson Sporting Goods of manufacturing a faulty mask that “cracked into pieces upon impact and didn’t protect an umpire in the way it is reportedly designed to do.” In addition to claims of a concussion and left ear injury, Hickox is asserting “mental anguish,” saying he has had several surgeries and has “ongoing medical expenses.” His wife Lisa Hickox is also a plaintiff, alleging that she’s been forced to spend “considerable time caring for and assisting her husband,” according to the suit.
...Something else that could work in the defendant’s favor: This isn’t the first time that Hickox, one of the umpires that lost his job during a failed mass-resignation strategy during a labor dispute in 1999 who waited six years to be reinstated, has sued Wilson Sporting Goods. Two years ago, he won $775,000 from the company on a similar foul ball incident that occurred in 2005. There are no other known cases of Major League umpires suing equipment manufacturers – just two incidents from the same umpire (neither MLB, which declined comment, or Wilson Sporting Goods, which didn’t return a call, confirmed this for sure). Heitner figures the lack any legal incidents from other umpires could work in Wilson’s favor, strengthening the company’s likely argument that masks aren’t designed to prevent any and all injuries, but to work under normal circumstances.
Posted: April 19, 2012 at 04:19 PM | 29 comment(s)
Login to Bookmark