Despite the wishes of many I have decided to write an in depth article about THE “Lawsuit”. From time to time lawsuits with significant and/or minor issues are filed between baseball team owners, or between fans and their favorite team. Some of these lawsuits will affect one local team and others will affect all of major league baseball. One lawsuit has been filed recently that might have significant, lasting and broad effects upon all of baseball.
That law suit is John Coomer v. Kansas City Royals Baseball Corporation, Case No. 1016-CV04073, Filed February 8, 2010. The causes of action are Negligence and Battery.
According to Mr. Coomer’s petition, he purchased a premium ticket to the Royals’ game, against the Tigers, on September 8, 2009 and sat a mere 6 rows behind the third base dugout. The Royals’ mascot “Sluggerrr” undertook his task of shooting steaming hotdogs, and their buns, into the stands with his air gun.
Just like a hot-dogging sniper “Sluggerrr” was standing atop the third base dugout without any protection. However, the fans had no protection either. Obviously the baseball fans who sit just six rows behind the third-base dugout at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium know that there is a chance that they must be aware of, and might have to dodge a few foul balls during the game. Little did Mr. Coomer know that he would have to protect himself against steaming hotdog projectiles being propelled at a high speed into his personal space.
“Sluggerrr” then put down his air gun and commenced to throwing the hot dog projectiles into the stands, including one that he threw behind his back. This misguided missile, struck Mr. Coomer in his left eye. Mr. Coomer claims that the Mascot “lost control of his throw or was reckless with his throw, and threw the hotdog directly into the Plaintiff.”
Mr. Coomer alleges that the wayward wiener caused him to have a detached retina and that as a result cataracts have developed in his left eye. He was required to undergo two eye surgeries to correct these problems. Mr. Coomer also claims that he has suffered permanent impairment to his vision and is now at an increased risk of disabling eye problems in the future.
In addition to seeking restitution of $25,000 for medical expenses that he incurred, Coomer is also seeking damages for the team’s failure to adequately train its’ mascot on the proper method of throwing hot dogs into the stands at Kauffman Stadium.
Of course the plaintiff is a resident of Kansas so this case might have something to do with the long held bitterness between Kansas and Missouri residents that began around the time of the Civil War. Or he may just have some type of phobia against Mascots like “Sluggerrr” who are allowed to behave like militia with their hotdog propelling air guns.
However, we should also be concerned that some California trained judge may hear this case and hold for Mr. Coomer on all causes of action and impose a new standard of care for Mascots. Why not? Does the back of your ticket expressly warn you to be aware of flying hotdogs? You may have assumed the risk of being hit with a baseball when you purchased a ticket, but a hotdog?
What about the Vegans? Don’t they have a Right of Privacy to not have slaughtered remains of a pig, cow, turkey, and/or chicken propelled uninvited into their area of seating?
Maybe the Judge will not just hold for Mr. Coomer, but will also turn this matter into a class action lawsuit for all of us fans and order the Royals, and any other team propelling missiles into the stands, to provide protective eye ware free of charge to all persons in attendance. - Written by Ken
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