Going to a baseball game is supposed to be a fun experience, but that wasn’t the case for a man who went to see the Kansas City Royals play at Kauffman Stadium back in 2009.
MSN reports that John Coomer was struck in the eye by a foil-wrapped hot dog slung by Sluggerrr, the mascot for the Kansas City Royals. Coomer had to undergo two surgeries to reattach his retina and to implant an artificial lens.
The Missouri Supreme Court is weighing whether the "baseball rule" — a legal standard that protects teams from being sued over fan injuries caused by events on the field, court or rink — should also apply to injuries caused by mascots or the other personnel that teams employ to engage fans, according to ABC News.
Coomer’s lawsuit reportedly seeks an award of "over $20,000" from the team, but the actual amount he is seeking is likely much greater. His vision is reportedly worse now than before he was injured and he has paid roughly $4,800 in medical costs, according to his attorney.
The case was first heard two years back and Jackson County jurors sided with the team, saying Coomer was totally at fault for his injury because he wasn't aware of what was going on around him. However, an appeals court overturned the decision in January, ruling that while being struck by a baseball is an inherent risk fans assume at games, being hit with a hot dog isn't.
Oral arguments were heard by the state Supreme Court back in September, but no indication was given on when a ruling will come down.
The case is being watched closely and it could change how sports teams choose to interact with fans at games.