When children get excited, they often do adorable but reckless things without thinking first, such as jumping up and down and causing a cup of juice on the table to spill over. Most of the time, these acts are totally harmless. We laugh them off because the joy of seeing a child who is truly ecstatic overrides how annoying it is to have to clean up their spills. But one 14-year-old Little League baseball player is learning the hard way that his inability to contain himself could cost his family hundreds of thousands of dollars -- all because his coach couldn't take a little pain and move on.
Alan Beck, who is a chiropractor and volunteers his time as a Little League coach, is suing the family of one of his young players to the tune of $500,000 after the teen "carelessly" threw his helmet in the air while celebrating the team's victory, accidentally hitting his coach in the leg with it.
Beck's attorney claims the kid "crossed the line" because tossing a helmet is not a part of baseball and, therefore, not something Beck signed up to deal with when he agreed to coach Little League. Well, obviously. But it isn't unheard of that young people throw up their hats in celebration at events like games and graduation. It's not like the teen celebrated by running around and striking everyone with a baseball bat.
The situation is a little icky though because Beck claims he suffered tearing of his Achilles tendon as a result of the helmet incident. He would like compensation to pay for both his "pain and suffering" and lost wages and medical costs. It's difficult for any of us to be able to judge how much pain one truly feels, so my only hope here is that Beck is being sincere and not taking advantage of the situation.
It seems kids are learning at a younger and younger age that their actions -- even if they're as innocent as can be and totally in sync with what others their age might do -- can cost their families big time. I'm sure there is a valuable lesson here about actions and consequences, but I'm not sure a kid of 14 is capable of making the connection between throwing his helmet in the air and a possible lawsuit.
Do you think the coach's lawsuit will serve as a valuable teaching lesson to this teen? Or is he way out of line here?
Image via aturkus/Flickr