The case is apparently going to trial in Helena, Montana:
Brandon Patch, 18, was pitching to a Helena Senators hitter, who was using an aluminum Louisville Slugger bat, when he was struck in the temple by the ball on July 25, 2003. Patch died at a hospital about four hours later.
Debbie Patch’s attorneys argue the case is not a freak accident. Baseballs hit with aluminum bats, such as the one used in that American Legion game, only give pitchers milliseconds to respond in a defensive stance….
The ball that struck Patch was traveling at 99.8 mph, [Louisville Slugger attorney Rob Sterup] said. Nearly every home run hit with a wooden bat exceeds 100 mph, Sterup added.
According to the plaintiff’s attorneys, Patch’s death was caused by the defective and unreasonably dangerous product because the bat was designed and manufactured to allow the ball to be hit with such significant force as to endanger the safety of those playing the game. No warnings were given to adequately provide sufficient notice to users such as Patch of the dangerous propensities of these products, the suit alleges….
I haven’t yet been able to get any documents in the case, so all I have to go on is the newspaper article. Thanks to Interested-Participant for the pointer.