Baseball

Player gets nearly $1M in Offerman bat attack case

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A minor league baseball player hit by former major leaguer Jose Offerman in a 2007 baseball bat attack won nearly $1 million in a lawsuit on Tuesday, an attorney said.

A jury awarded $940,000 to former Bridgeport Bluefish catcher Johnathan Nathans, who had sought $4.8 million, his lawyer Josh Koskoff said. Nathans is still affected by a head injury he suffered in the attack, though he has made some recovery and is now an attorney in Portland, Maine, his lawyer said.

"What we really were looking for after seven years was accountability for Mr. Offerman," Koskoff said. The lawsuit said Offerman, playing for the Long Island Ducks in a major league comeback bid, was hit by a pitch and then charged the mound with his bat and hit Nathans and pitcher Matt Beech. Nathans' injury ended his baseball career, and Beech broke the middle finger on his non-throwing hand.

Offerman, who played for the Boston Red Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers and other teams during a 15-year career that ended in 2005, testified he didn't swing his bat at the two players. The Ducks, also named in the lawsuit, denied responsibility.

Offerman's lawyer Frank Riccio II said the verdict is complicated because the jury found that Offerman committed an assault by making Beech, not Nathans, fear he was about to be hit but also determined that Offerman did not commit battery. In addition, the jury did not find the Ducks liable, Riccio said.

"I think the verdict is inconsistent and a bit perplexing," he said. "Mr. Offerman is certainly happy seven years later that a jury said he did not strike Mr. Nathans." He said further litigation is possible.

"How is Mr. Offerman liable for damages if (the) jury found he never struck him?" Riccio asked. "It's an interesting question that has to be resolved before it gets to its final end."

Related Headlines

  • Pete Rose, Wilson Batista

    Pete Rose manages team, 1st time in 25 years

    Pete Rose stood behind the batting cage Monday, joking as former major leaguer Joe Mather hit ball after ball to center field during batting practice for the Bridgeport ... 

  • John Nathans, Jose Offerman, Matt Beech

    Ex-major leaguer Offerman denies assault claims

    Former major leaguer Jose Offerman testified Friday that he neither swung his bat at two minor leaguers nor caused their injuries during a scuffle that broke out when he was ... 

  • Pete Rose

    Pete Rose to manage 1 game in independent league

    Pete Rose is set to return to the dugout. The 73-year-old career hits leader is going to manage one game for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League on June ... 

  • Life-saving lighthouse keeper honored

    Praised for performing dangerous work at a time when women couldn't even vote, a lighthouse keeper credited with saving 21 people during her 61 years of service received a ... 

Find your future job here