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June 9, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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June 9, 2010
 

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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, June 9, 2010 5B Baseb00!ll decision ha:attorney crying.foul The Patches found their vil- lain in Hillerich & Bradsby, the maker of the aluminum bat that struck the ball that ended Brandon's life. The Patches sued H&B claiming the bat was defective because it worked too well, allowing the batter to hit the ball so fast their son had no chance to get out of its way. Late last year, a jury re- turned a verdict in favor of the Patches in the amount of $850,000. Although the jury did not find the bat defective as the plaintiffs had claimed, it nevertheless concluded H&B failed to provide an ade- quate warning about the dan- gers posed by its product. I certainly don't begrudge the Patches their $850,000 judgment. This hardly com- pensates them for their loss. But iquestion the wisdom of, allowing the case to proceed to a judgment. What good would a warning have done, really? Warnings are normally for those at risk. If the warning said, "Cau- tion, this bat could explode LEGAL MUSINGS STEVE BRENNEMAN steve@schoolpathways.com In 2003, 18-year-old Brandon Patch was pitching in an American Legion baseball game in Helena, Mont., when he was struck in the head by a batted ball and killed. As a parent, I can think of no greater tragedy than the untimely death of a child. We,re not supposed to outlive our children. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the par- ents of that young man. However, no tragedy is completeuntil all the lawsuits have been fried, all the bldme has been attached and all the guilty parties have paid up. In today's world, there's no such thing as an accident or an un- fortunate event. There s al- ways a Villain; you just have to look hard enough. upon impact," that might get a buyer's attention. But what if the warning said, "Caution, use of this bat may cause you to hit the ball faster and farther"? Yes, that certainly would make you think twice about buying it. To borrow from the gun rights folks, bats don't kill pitchers, batters kill pitchers, ff we allow a pitcher (or his sur- vivors) to sue a bat manufactur- er, should we also allow him to sue the person who chose to use the lethal bat? What about the sponsor of the team who pro- vided the equipment? Furthermore, is a warning necessary? In light of the pop- ularity of aluminum bats, I suspect most people already know they perform better than wooden bats. The biggest problem here is that baseball is a sport. When a pitcher and batter square off, the object of the pitcher is to throw the ball past the bat- ter and the object of the batter is to hit the ball past the pitcher and out of reach of the other defensive players. Obviously, the harder and in baseball, being hit by a faster the batter hits the ball, batted ball, like being hit by the greater chance he has of an errant throw, is an inher- hitting safely, ent risk. Primary assump- Under'traditional tort law, tion of risk bars a partici- when you voluntarily do pant in a sport from recover- something despite a known ing when a risk inherent in risk, you are said to have as- that sport occurs. sumed the risk and cannot re- However, while a player cover when you are injured might assume therisk of be- thereby, ing hit by an errant throw, he For xample, if you en- does not assume the risk of a counter a bridge with a big ball deliberately thrown at his sign that reads, "Danger: Un- head. safe Bridge. Do not cross," Likewise, while being hit in and you ignore the warning the head by a wild pitch is a and the bridge collapses un- risk inherent in baseball, re- der you, you cannot sue. ceiving a concussion when a (In California and other wild pitch cracks a defective- states that have adopted cam- ly manufactured batting hel- parative fault principles, your met is not. potential recovery would not Although it does not appear be precluded altogether, jusC Montana has formally adopt- restricted.) , ed the doctrine of primary as- The doctrine of primary as- sumption of risk, I have no sumption of risk is recognized reason to doubt that if faced when an individual voluntari- with the proper case, it would ly participates in a sport that join most other states in do- involves inherent risks. For ing so. example, being elbowed in the To uphold the judgment in face is a risk inherent in the the Patch case, a court would game of basketball, especially necessarily have to conclude when I'm playing, being struck by a ball hit with an aluminum bat is not a risk If aluminum, bat manufactur- ers were required to put warnings on their products, wouldn't those who fail to heed the warning be subject to suit if they injure another player with such a bat? How about those buying the team's equipment or a league that al- lows such bats to be used? Soon, no more aluminum bats. Would that be such a bad thing? It probably depends on whether you're a parent con- cerned about the safety of your child or a spectator wishing to see more scoring. I'd probably side with the par- ents. Besides, i'm from the old school. There were no alu- minum bats when I was a kid. But where does this end? In T-ball, they use balls that are softer than regular baseballs. Obviously, using softer base- balls would make the sport safer. What ff we make the di- amond bigger so defensive players can be further away from the batter? You get the idea. They say bad facts make bad law. (Maybe it's just Board reaches agreement on forest issues In a decision that marksthe "For the past several process with a group of di- wood products industry, Cam- beginning of a new era of col- decades people have been verse interests to work with munity organizations and laboration in the Sierra Neva- fighting about how best to ..... managers to identify the others interested in the issue. da around forest management manage thepublic forestlands appropriate management They will also work closely inherent in the sport of base- ball. Otherwise, young Mr. Patch would have assumed the risk when he stepped onto the mound. - Such a judgment would have the potential for funda- mentally changing the sport. lawyerswho say that.) There's always a danger that, under tragic circum- stances, some judge or jury will try to find a way to pro- vide relief to the injured par- ty, regardless of the long-term ramifications. issues, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy governing board unanimously voted June 3, to launch.an initiative to pro- mote forest health, create jobs, increase biomass energy production and reduce fire risk in Sierra forests. The board, which includes six elected county supervisors from the'Sierra Nevada re- gion, adopted a resolution that had the support of local elected officials, environmen- tal groups and wood products organizations, as well as many others interested in ad- dressing the issue in a differ- ent manner.:  , , , The action effectively launches the SNC's Sierra Nevada Forest and Communi- ty Initiative, designed to fiqd collaborative approaches to reducing the overgrowth of public forestlands. ' in the Sierra Nevada, to the point where our forests are dangerously overgrown and in poor health," said Jim Bran- ham, executive Officer of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. "Today we can proudly ac- knowledge a new era of dedi- cation and cooperation to help improve the forest envi- ronment and our local economies." Branham said the initiative focuses on public forest lands and indicated the SNC will work with a coordinating council at the regional level to identify key policy, funding and scientific issues essential for success. Regional efforts will be made to support on-the- ground solutions based on site-specific conditions. Similar efforts in other ar- eas have used a collaborative needed for sustainable forests and economies. Branham not- ed the SNC will pursue that approach as well. Materials removed from the forests can be used for dimen- sional lumber, wood specialty products (wood stove pellets, decorative bark fence posts, etc.) or used for fuel in clean- burning biomass energy plants. "I am encouraged by the conservancy's leadership on this issue," said Sierra Coun- ty Supervisor and SNC board member Bill Nunes. "We need to take action now if we are .to avoid,-the large damaging fires that are bad for our envi- ronment, our communities and the state as a whole." Branham said the SNC will seek support for the initiative from local governments, envi- ronmental organizations, the Driver tries to slide by sideswipe Joshua Sebold Staff Writer jsebold@plumasnews.com A bizarre circumstance in the Rite Aid parking lot Thursday, June 3, led the Cal- ifornia Highway Patrol to de- clare the suspect in a hit-and- run case was the woman who reported the collision. According to the CHP colli- sion report, an officer re- sponded to a possible hit-and- run collision. The officer reported Kathie Rolbeck, 58, of PlacerviUe said her vehicle was struck and the driver of the suspect vehi- cle fled the scene. The report continued, "Af- ter a lengthy investigation the suspect vehicle turned out to be the victim's vehicle." The CHP report indicated Kevin Kohler, 46, of Meadow Valley, had his vehicle parked in back of the Plumas Club when Rolbeck sideswiped it. The CHP document added, "She then fled the scene and tried to report that her vehi- cle was struck in the Rite Aid parking lot." The matter will be referred to the District Attorney's Of- fice requesting charges be filed against Rolbeck for falsi- fying a report, misdemeanor hit-and-run, and obstructing and delaying an officer from his or her duties. SATURDAY. June 19 - 10:00 AM Estate o "Lewis G. Womack 17 Quincy Ave. Portola. CA 1986 Maserati Biturbo 425 I  Delta Drill P .... ....... ] ' 963 Jaguar Mark 11 J ...... /PI .... 1961 Jaguar Mark II Cement Mixer 986 Mosertatl 425 Hydrallc Press 1965 Corvolr Monza H&A No.5 Saw  1963 Corvalr Van Miller Welder ( 8 Door - Very Rare) Misc. Gensets  1983 Yamaha GE DieselGenset Turbo Seca (375 KVA) (1 of | 500 Built) Air Compressors :' "" : At Least 3 More Valve Grind Mach. 1965 Corvalr Monza Corvairs Lincoln Weld-Pat Still Under Cover 155 Arc Welder i ' :  i" Arias metal Lathe Loads Of Hand Tools : ' ;" Lathe Tooling & A Whole Lot More Rigid Pipe Threader This Is A Forty Year E.R, Wright Anvil Accutulotton Of Coals Tire Machine Parts & Tools, ii / TabJeBandlO" Bench GrindersawsSaWs Tens of Tools Prev/ew Friday June t8- 9AM to 4PM A uctions Conducted By: YOUR NEVADA AUCTION AUTHORITY Visit Our Website: www.baxtinsauctions.com Email baxtins@sbcglobal.net Reno Office (775) 972-6621 -Reno Fax (775) 972-6623 with the federal land man- agers in determining how these efforts can work to im- prove forest health and com- munity vitality. "Sixty-five percent of our state's water originates in the Sierra Nevada region," said board chairman B. J. Kirwan, a resident of Los Angeles County. "Large fires result in a vari- ety of adverse impacts to our water supply. Taking care of our watersheds is essential to the long-term supply of high quality water for domestic and agricultural use through- out California." Fatal motorcycle crash Joshua Sebold Staff Writer jsebold@plurn asnews.com A San Jose man died Satur- day, June 5, when his motor- cycle traveled off a shoulder of SR 89, just over a mile north of SR 70. Joseph Criss, 54, was riding a 2002 motorcycle southbound on SR 89, at what the Califor- nia Highway Patrol called "a speed which was unsafe for the pre.aJl ingcond itions .'. According to the CHP, Criss failed to negotiate a left turn in the road and he lost con- trol, traveling off the west shoulder, coming to rest in a creek embankment. The collision report indicat- ed he was responsive immedi- ately after the collisiorl, but later succumbed to his in- juries. Criss was wearing a helmet. The collision investigation was still ongoing as of Mon- day morning, June 7. sponsored by 1= Resourcesl Diamond Mounta ECS