Some might suggest that “Sluggerrr,” the Kansas City Royals’ mascot, should be charged with Aggravated Public Annoyance or arrested just because or maybe put on a drone hit list.
That probably ain’t going happen, but Sluggerrr will have to face some civil court music—again. John Coomer, while attending a Royals game, was struck in his left eye by a foil-wrapped hot dog which Sluggerrr had (allegedly) tossed into the stands as part of a between-the-innings promotion known as the “Hotdog Launch.” Coomer suffered a torn and detached retina and underwent surgery; he had additional surgery for a cataract; now has an artificial lens in his eye. Commer sued. A jury ruled in Sluggerrr’s favor. A Missouri Appellate Court (recently) reversed the ruling stating (inter alia) that, “Everyone who participates in or attends a baseball game assumes the risk of being hit by a ball, because the risk of being hit by a baseball is a risk inherent to the game. However, the risk of being hit in the face by a hot dog is not a well-known incidental risk of attending a baseball game. Consequently, a plaintiff may not be said to have consented to, and voluntarily assumed, the risk merely by attending the game.” (internal quotations and citations omitted) Coomer v. Kansas City Royals Baseball Corp. (Appeal from the Cir. Ct. of Jackson County, Missouri) (2013) WD73984 & WD74040.) There’s a somewhat similar California case: “Tremor,” the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes’ mascot, is a seven foot tall dinosaur with a protruding tale. Once upon a time at the “Epicenter” (Quakes’ home-field) Tremor was getting his freak on in the stands and his tale kept bumping and distracting a fan who, while distracted, was hit in the face by a foul ball. Summary judgment in favor of Tremor was reversed on appeal. Lowe v. Calif. League of Prof. Baseball (1997) 56 Cal.App.4th 112.