This is why we can't have nice things, America: John Coomer, a Kansas City Royals fan who was hit in the eye with a hot dog, is suing the team for medical expenses after undergoing two eye surgeries.
Coomer, of Overland Park, Kan., says he was injured at a September 2009 Royals game when the team's lion mascot, Sluggerrr, threw a 4-ounce, foil-wrapped wiener into the stands that struck his eye. He had to have two surgeries — one to repair a detached retina and the other to remove a cataract that developed and implant an artificial lens. Coomer's vision is worse now than before he was hurt and he has paid roughly $4,800 in medical costs, said his attorney, Robert Tormohlen.
Coomer might actually have a case here because of a 1997 ruling in California that declared mascots aren't an essential part of the game, making injuries caused by mascots exempt from the "baseball rule" that prevents fans from suing teams over injuries caused by on-field activities.
Personally, I'm wondering just how exactly this happened. Between innings when the hot dog toss/launch takes place at games, there's usually a ruckus going on in the crowd with people wanting that $4 hot dog for free. Was Coomer just sitting there, blissfully unaware of what was going on? That seems to scream negligence in my mind, but my degree is in HR – what do I know?
If Coomer prevails in his case, I'd expect teams to dial back their on-field promotions in fear of a lawsuit. Say goodbye to free hot dogs and t-shirts! I wonder what a hot dog launcher would go for on eBay…