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Jury Awards $6.7 Million to Boy Clubbed by Bat

Jury Awards $6.7 Million to Boy Clubbed by Bat



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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A boy who was clubbed by a baseball bat won a $6.7 million verdict against a sports tournament organizer and Lehi.

Dalton Nielson suffered brain injuries at 7 when he rushed onto a field at Lehi Veterans Memorial Park to return a foul ball and was accidentally clubbed in the head by a batter taking a warm-up swing.

"I'm shocked at the size of the verdict, and there will be some post-trial motions and appeal," said Cliff Payne, an attorney for the U.S. Specialty Sports Association, a multi-sports governing body for youngsters.

The batter was dismissed from the lawsuit and Lehi had already reached a settlement with the American Fork family before the jury delivered its verdict earlier this week. The decision left U.S. Specialty Sports Association 92.5 percent liable for the boy's injuries.

Nielson spent two weeks at Primary Children's Medical Center after brain surgery. Doctors testified he will need medical care for the rest of his life.

"The system works. Dalton has now been compensated for his tragic and terrible brain injury," said the family's attorney, Lynn Harris.

Payne contends an umpire was at fault for letting children return foul balls between innings during the softball game in 2004.

The umpire denied he waved the boy onto the field.

There was inconsistent testimony at trial on whether the boy's grandfather, who brought him to watch the game, encouraged Nielson to grab and return a foul ball.

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Information from: The Daily Herald

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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