On February 6th, 2020, Rawlings issued a recall for its CHMACH-SR Senior Catchers Helmets. The reason for the recall is centered on the rear plate of the helmet, which can break or come undone during use, leading to the risk of various head injuries and concussion. About 1,400 of the units were recalled.
The helmets all have a grey chinstrap but come in different color combinations – black and white (UPC code 083321545504), green and white (UPC code 083321545511), navy and white (UPC code 083321545528), and red and white (UPC code 083321545566). The hangtags had “MACH” printed on them when the helmets were sold and also have the UPC codes. The code cannot be found on the helmet itself, but there is a sticker on the inside that says “CHMACH-SR-RevA.” On the side of the helmet is the word “Rawlings” and on the front is the “R” logo of Rawlings.
The helmets were manufactured in China and imported into Missouri by Rawlings Sporting Goods. They were sold for about $200 at sporting goods stores, Rawlings.com, and various other retail stores and online sellers.
To date, there have been no injuries reported from the helmet plates coming undone. The company recommends that owners refrain from using the helmets any longer. Users can pursue a refund if the size of the helmet is over 7.5, and can receive a replacement plate if the helmet is below size 7.5.
Injuries from Defective Catcher’s Helmets
Catcher’s helmets and all similar baseball helmets are meant to protect the wearers in many ways. For one, the helmet protects against fast-moving baseballs and can prevent concussions and other head injuries. It also cushions the head in the event of a trip, dive, or collision. Catchers in baseball are often taking spills; they may pursue a foul ball and wind up falling over a railing into the dug out or into the stands, or they may be waiting for a squeeze play at the plate only to be hit by a runner. Thus, if a helmet falls off or breaks during use, the catcher’s head would be exposed and susceptible to injuries.
Some of the damages that can arise from these incidents include:
- Closed head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Fractured skull
- Facial injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Eye injuries
- Nerve damage
Although baseball, softball, and similar activities are not contact sports, there is still the need for protective equipment due to the risk of injury. If you are using a catcher’s helmet and the strap or plate breaks during use, you may suffer injuries from an incident.
How to Sue Rawlings for Injuries
If you wish to file a lawsuit against Rawlings because of a defective catcher’s helmet, you will need to establish that the company was negligent. Personal injury claims are based on negligence, but product liability claims are more specific. The company must have made one of the following errors:
The catcher’s helmet had a design error
The helmet had a manufacturing error
he helmet had no warnings or hazard signs on it or on its packaging
Rawlings has made numerous catcher’s helmets and other equipment before, so it is not likely a design error that can be blamed for the defect. More likely, there was a manufacturing error at the plant or the materials that were used were improper. The plate could detach because the screw was not the right type or because the plastic was not strong enough. There are various reasons that could explain the defect. What is important is that the company made an error in some way.
You will need evidence for your product liability claim. The first thing you should do, though, is get medical attention for any injuries you suffered. If you wait too long to go to the doctor, you will likely worsen the damages and will need extended treatment. Further, the insurance agent may doubt how badly you were injured or may question if you were actually hurt because of the defective helmet. Upon getting treatment, you should hold on to all receipts, doctor’s notes, test results, and more.
You will need pictures of the injuries you suffered and the damaged helmet. If you can also take photos of the scene where the incident occurred, it can help set the scene better. You may be able to get videos if someone were recording the game, but this may not be very likely.
It is very important that you do not throw away the helmet, replace it, take it somewhere to get fixed, or tamper with it. You should also not pursue a refund from Rawlings. If you get rid of the helmet or mess with it in any way, the company can claim that you actually caused the error yourself. You should preserve the evidence for as long as possible. Additionally, a refund can mean that you already received compensation – do not run the risk of missing out on what you deserve because you were already paid for the cost of the helmet.
If anyone saw the incident happen or could attest to the rear plate breaking during use, you should add their statements and testimonies to your claim. Other players may also have been hurt because of the defective helmet, which could lead to a class action lawsuit.
You will need to provide receipts or proof of purchase documents showing that you bought the helmet. If you do not have proof, it can be argued that you are not actually the owner of the item.
Lastly, you can hire a product liability lawyer in Los Angeles to handle your claim for you. You may not have necessary legal experience or a background in law or negotiations, and if you try to deal with the claim by yourself, you may not succeed. We can put together your demand letter and ensure that your case is a success.
Deadline for Product Liability Lawsuits
The statute of limitations for product liability lawsuits in California is 2 years from the date of the injury. If you do not sue within that time period, you will be unable to collect any compensation and your claim will be thrown out. This statute lets both parties have enough time to gather their proof to defend their positions.
You could potentially have the statute of limitations extended beyond the 2-year deadline in some cases. This is possible if you were a minor at the time of the incident; because minors cannot sue, the statute of limitations will be suspended until you turn 18 years old. You also could suspend the statute if you were left physically or mentally incapacitated afterward. Further, the defendant must be present in California – if he leaves, the statute will be suspended. Generally, product liability claims do not run the risk of the defendant leaving the state, as the corporation could be based elsewhere anyway.
Many lawsuits simply fail to get filed because of the statute of limitations. Victims will not be aware of how much time they have left or when the case expires. To prevent this from happening with your case, reach out to our attorneys today for more assistance. we can file your claim for you on deadline and ensure that your documents are all on the insurance agent’s desk well before the statute of limitations runs out.
Product Liability Lawsuit Compensation
If you have been injured in an accident with a defective catcher’s helmet, you should pursue ample legal compensation. The insurance agent handling your case will measure the damages and come up with an offer. If the offer is too low, we will counter and negotiate a fair deal. We will strive to win you compensation for the following:
- Medical bills from the past and future for any treatments and testing
- Property damage if your items were destroyed or must be replaced
- Lost income if you were unable to return to work for a period of time or could not go to work in the future
- Pain and suffering damages for emotional trauma and anxiety
If you were injured because Rawlings sold a malfunctioning catcher’s helmet, the company should be held accountable. It is unfair for you to bear the burden of any expenses and debts.
How We Help You
The Downtown LA Law Group is a Los Angeles firm with decades of combined experience in personal injury law. We have handled hundreds f product liability claims and know the best tactics to succeed. We have won millions for our clients and always dedicate ourselves to your case. Our team of attorneys is known for being aggressive and never giving up on any lawsuit.
To set up a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, call us today with your questions and queries. We’ll walk you through the legal process and make sure you know each step along the way. If you hire us, we’ll give you our zero fee guarantee as well. You will pay nothing from start to finish – we only get paid if we win, and them money is taken from the insurance settlement. If we lose, we are paid nothing.
With the assistance of the Downtown LA Law Group, you can sue Rawlings for injuries from a defective catcher’s helmet.