Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Man Claims Royals' Team Mascot Caused His Hot Dog Eye Injury

Like most baseball fans, John Coomer thought he'd probably catch a foul ball at the game. But instead, he caught a wiener in the eye.

The Kansas City man is now suing the Kansas City Royals for damages after a flying hot dog almost put his eye out last year, the Associated Press reports.

He has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $25,000 for the eye injury he sustained after the team's mascot, Sluggerrr the Lion, began shooting hotdogs into the stands from an air gun.

The incident happened on Sept. 8, 2009 during a break in the game.

Coomer claims the hotdog hit him right in his left eye -- leaving him with a detached retina and later cataracts.

According to court documents, the mascot lost control and then began firing the frankfurters by hand. Sluggerrr tossed a hot dog behind his back and struck Coomer in the eye, the lawsuit says.

Croomer is suing for negligence and battery.

In general, negligence is conduct that falls below the standards of behavior established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm.

As for battery, it is both a tort and a crime. The main distinction between the two categories lies in who is pursuing the case -- law enforcement in a criminal action or the victim in a civil lawsuit -- and in the penalty imposed.

Croomer says he has undergone two surgeries, suffered permanent impairment of his vision and is at a greater risk of future eye problems.

The spokesperson for the Royals declined to comment about the lawsuit and whether it is the reason why the team is looking for a replacement for its large lion mascot.