Unsportsmanlike Conduct Leads to Lawsuit at Softball Game

Softball legal pitch – Journal Inquirer: Page One 

“VERNON — A  Glastonbury man has filed a lawsuit against the town in response to a  2012 incident during which someone from an opposing softball team threw a bat at him, causing permanent injury. The man, Jeffrey Harrington of 377 Woodhaven Road, says the person who threw the baseball
bat at him had violated the town’s softball league rules on several
previous occasions and that the town was negligent and careless in neglecting to prevent the accident, the lawsuit states.

According to the filing, the incident occurred in July 2012 during a men’s softball league game at a town-owned field at 375 Hartford Turnpike.

The person who threw the bat was Somers residentJonathan Feigenbaum, who later was charged with second-degree assaultand first-degree reckless endangerment.

Harrington contends that during the gameFeigenbaum engaged in unsportsmanlike conduct and used profane language —behavior he had previously exhibited.

The Glastonbury man, who was catching during thegame, says Feigenbaum became upset with the outcome of a play, slammed a metal bat on the plate, and then flung it backwards. It struck Harrington in the throat, the filing states.

The Town was named in the lawsuit that was filed late lastmonth are the town clerk. Representing Harrington is former Vernon mayor Jason L. McCoy.

McCoy argues the town “knew or should have known” of Feigenbaum’s violations and did not eject, expel, or discipline theplayer before the incident during which Harrington was injured.

The bat “crushed” Harrington’s trachea — nearlycausing him to choke to death — and also resulted in scaring anddisfigurement, the filing states.

Among other reasons, McCoy states that thenegligence was caused by the town failing to provide adequate supervision, failing to enforce its own rules, failing to provide“wholesome recreational activities for individuals,” and failing topromote good sportsmanship. He also states that town staff failed to eject, expel, or suspend Feigenbaum following previous incidents.

As a result of the incident, Harrington hassevere injuries, some of which may be permanent.   Harrington “has endured and will continue to endure great mental and physical pain and suffering and may forever be restricted in activities of daily living,”  the filing states.

Because of the injuries to his neck, throat, and voice box, Harrington has had to spend “large sums of money” for medical and surgical treatment, medicine, therapy, and other items, according to the claim.

Harrington also has lost time and wages since his “earning capacity has been greatly diminished, impaired, and reduced,” McCoy says.He’s seeking money in excess of $15,000 to cover lost and future expenses.

According to the town’s rules and regulationsgoverning the Vernon men’s softball league for 2012, “unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated” and any player engaging in poor behavior will be suspended or expelled from the league. It further states that “any act of aggression with intent to physically harm another person” will result in suspension or expulsion.

Online court records show that Feigenbaum was sentenced by a Vernon Superior Court judge to six months in jailsuspended after 18 months of probation stemming from an August 2013
incident during which he was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”