The U.S. justice system has to deal with another legal complexity. A hot dog injury lawsuit may sound like a joke to some, but it is no laughing matter for one disgruntled man. A Kansas City Royals baseball fan is suing the team after the mascot threw a hot dog, striking him in the face, and as a result he suffered serious injuries, Sports Illustrated reported on Nov. 1. However, the issue is much more complex than it seems.
The so-called hot dog injury lawsuit was filed by John Coomer, of Overland Park, Kan., after he claimed he was injured at a Sept. 2009 Royals game when the team’s lion mascot, Sluggerrr, launched a hot dog into the stands that struck his eye.
The Missouri Supreme Court is still trying to decide if the hot dog injury lawsuit applies to the "baseball rule," which is a legal standard that protects teams from being sued over fan injuries caused by events on the field, court or rink.
If John Coomer, because he filed a lawsuit, was hit in the face by a ball or a piece of a broken baseball bat, his strange hot dog injury lawsuit would have no chance of being rewarded compensation.
"If a jury finds that the activity at issue is an inherent and unavoidable risk, the Royals owe no duty to their spectators," said his attorney, Robert Tormohlen. "No case has extended the no-duty rule to the activities of a mascot."
As a consequence of the hotdog hitting him in the eye, Coomer had to undergo two operations - one to repair a detached retina and the other to remove a cataract that developed and implant an artificial lens.
According to the lawsuit, Coomer's vision has deteriorated drastically, and his lawyer says he has had to pay $4,800 in medical costs.
The 53-year-old victim in this hot dog injury lawsuit is demanding at least $20,000 in compensation, but hopes for a lot more.
Professional baseball teams everywhere are very concerned about the man's hot dog injury lawsuit. If the court considers the claim to be legitimate and awards him compensation, this could completely change the way mascots interact with fans during games and the precedent would allow others to sue the organizers for the consequences of such accidents....Continue Reading
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