Imagine sitting in the stands of a baseball game--just behind the third base dugout--when a strange creature appears in your line of sight. You're not particularly sure if it's a lion or a dog with a permanently attached crown. All you know is that it's big, fuzzy, and tossing hot dogs your way. Oh, and it's using an air gun.
Now, what do you if you're John Coomer and confronted with this situation? Well, you certainly don't keep your eyes off of what you know to be Sluggerrr, the Kansas City Royals mascot. Because if you do, you may receive a hot dog to the eye, causing your retina to detach, leaving you with a case of cataracts.
That's right, ladies and gentleman. John Coomer was injured by an errant hot dog, and according to a jury, the Kansas City Royals aren't to blame. And hey, neither is Sluggerrr.
In all seriousness, John Coomer was severely injured by that hot dog in September 2009. An avid fan, he knew that the mascot was fond of wiener shooting, reports the Tribune News Services. Even so, he never expected one to injure him in such a way that required three surgeries.
Coomer sued the Kansas City Royals for $25,000, alleging negligence and battery, according to Yahoo! Sports. He contended that the franchise failed to properly train Sluggerrr to shoot dogs into the stands.
During trial, the Kansas City Royals adequately refuted that they were negligent in the mascot's training by presenting evidence that they fulfilled the duty of care owed to ballpark patrons like Coomer. The man behind the mask testified that he trains other mascots on safety, relays the Tribune News Services. He also always tried to be aware of where his dogs might go.
- KC Royals Not Liable for Injuries Caused by Errant Hot Dog Toss, Jury Finds (ABA Journal)
- Negligence (FindLaw)
- Battery Basics (FindLaw)
- NASCAR Fans Injured at Talladega: Spectator Safety and the Law (FindLaw's Injured)