Injured Little League All-Star safe at home, family suing over bunk bed fall

Easton Oliverson, left, embraces his brother Brogan in front of father Jace after returning home from the hospital, St. George, Utah, Sept. 19, 2022 | Photo courtesy of the Oliverson Family, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — More than a month after he was injured falling off the top bunk of a bunk bed at the Little League World Series site, Snow Canyon Little League All-Star Easton Oliverson is out of the hospital and returned home to Southern Utah late Monday.

Easton Oliverson, left, embraces his family after returning home from the hospital, St. George, Utah, Sept. 19, 2022 | Photo courtesy of the Oliverson Family, St. George News

At the same time, his parents have filed a lawsuit against Little League Baseball International and the bunk bed manufacturer. 

Easton, 12, suffered skull, cheekbone and brain injuries that doctors say nearly cost him his life after he fell from the top bunk on Aug. 14 in the team dorms at the Little League World Series complex in South Willamsport, Pennsylvania, about three days before his team’s first game representing the Mountain region as the first-ever Utah team to reach the series.

After being rushed to Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in nearby Danville, Pennsylvania, Easton underwent multiple surgeries and remained in the hospital even after the rest of the team – including his younger brother Brogan who was given his roster spot –  returned to a heroes’ welcome on Aug. 24

On Aug. 30, Easton was transported to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City to be closer to home. Since then, Easton had what his family called a “major setback” when it was discovered he had a staph infection that was also affecting the ability for him to open his right eye. On Sept. 9, he has had additional surgery and his skull cap had to be re-removed to clear out the infection.

Easton has continued to recover in the last two weeks but the swelling in his eye is going down gradually and he is now suffering multiple seizures. 

On Monday, Easton was cleared to return to his home in St. George – his first time home in more than a month. 

Wearing a Dodger jersey he got directly from his favorite player Mookie Betts, Easton was hounded by his brother and teammate Brogan and the rest of his family. 

In a statement, the Oliverson family said their son may have reached home, but he still has many innings to go in his recovery.

“He is resting and adjusting to his recovery away from the hospital,” the family said. “He is thrilled to be home, but understands that he still has a very long road ahead. It’s not going to be easy, but we have faith that his prayer army will continue to carry him through.”

A 2019 image of bunk beds in The Grove dormitory at the site of the Little League World Series, Williamsport, Penn. | Photo courtesy of Little League International, St. George News

Some questioned the use of the bunk beds at the player dormitories known as “The Grove,” including a former Little League World Series player who said he was amazed they were still using the same type of beds without guards 48 years after he played in the series. 

A few days after the incident, Little League International replaced the bunk beds in favor of single beds.  

A lawsuit has been filed in Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas against both Little League Baseball and John Savoy & Son Inc., the manufacturer of the bed, for liability and negligence. Easton and his parents, Jace and Nancy, are listed as defendants and are seeking $50,000 for liability and $50,000 for negligence.

St. George News has obtained a copy of the lawsuit filed on Friday in the 1st Judicial District of Pennsylvania.

“Little League was negligent for allowing the bed to exist in a dangerous condition, namely without rails,” the lawsuit reads. It also accuses Little League International of  “failing to care for children” and “failing to properly secure the bed.”

Little League International has not been reached for comment, but previously a spokesperson told St. George News there had been no other incident of such a fall in the World Series’ 75-year history and the bunk beds were ultimately removed “out of an abundance of caution.”

As far as the manufacturer, the lawsuit states, “Savoy designed, manufactured, distributed, marketed, and/or sold the bunk beds in a dangerous and defective condition in that they did not contain every element necessary to make them safe for their intended use.” 

The case will be going to a jury trial, though an actual date for the civil trial has not yet been set. 

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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