There’s no crying in baseball, but as one local teen is learning, there are lawsuits.
Back in May of 2010, Matthew Migliaccio, a catcher in the Manchester Little League, was helping a pitcher warm up during a bullpen session. Matt's father, Bob Migliaccio, says one of his son's warm-up throws got away from him and struck Elizabeth Lloyd, the mother of a teammate, in the face.
"Mrs. Lloyd was sitting on the top of the bench and the ball came over the fence and hit her," said Bob.
Bob says his son, who was 11 at the time, ran over to check on Lloyd who he says claimed to be okay.
"A few weeks later she came to a game and the team gave her flowers," said Bob. "Matt went up to her and formally apologized and she said again, 'I'm fine Matt, I know you didn't do anything wrong.'"
Lloyd, 45, of Manchester, was not okay however. The Asbury Park Press reports she suffered multiple fractures. Yet while Lloyd suffered the injury, it’s Matthew and his family who felt the insult. Six months after his son apologized to Lloyd, Bob says he received a letter from the woman's attorney demanding home owner's insurance information. On April 24 of this year, Lloyd’s attorney filed a lawsuit against Matt, who is now 13. The Press reports that Lloyd is seeking $500,000 in damages to cover medical costs stemming from the incident. The attorney, Riaz A. Mian, tells the Press the damages his client is seeking is the maximum that the family's home insurance covers.
The suit claims Matthew intentionally struck her, causing permanent injuries, according to the Press. Mian tells Asbury Park the suit was filed after several failed attempts to reach a settlement with insurance companies and that “life is now different” for his client. According to Mian, Lloyd had to undergo reconstructive surgery and currently suffers from headaches.
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Anthony Pagano, the attorney for Matthew’s family, called the litigation “disgusting.”
“Because a kid was throwing a baseball in a bullpen session, he is forced to retain counsel,” said Pagano to Asbury Park.
"We were upset and mad," said Bob. "I feel the same way today as I felt then. I feel like Little League just basically figured that they weren't liable to anything and they washed their hands of it."
The International Little League tells NBC10 that all local chapters carry accident insurance that covers players, coaches and concessions but not spectators.
NBC10 made multiple trips to Lloyd's house, texted her and called her but received no response. We also did not hear back from Mian or the Manchester Little League.
Bob also tells Asbury Park the entire ordeal has made the family step back from the league. He’s taken a break from coaching while his wife Sue has stepped down as manager of the league’s snack stand. Matthew continues to play however.
"He accidentally threw a ball," said Bob. "He didn't do anything wrong and I don't want him to carry that around thinking he did something wrong. It's just not right."
No court date has been set for the lawsuit.