Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

In mascot trial, high court rules in favor of fan

Kansas City Royals mascot “Sluggerrr” throws hot dogs into the crowd during a baseball game in Kansas City, Mo.

Associated Press (2009)

Kansas City Royals mascot “Sluggerrr” throws hot dogs into the crowd during a baseball game in Kansas City, Mo.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a ruling that could force sports teams to reassess how their mascots interact with spectators, the Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a new trial for a Kansas City Royals fan who was injured by a hot dog tossed at a baseball game.

The state's highest court said in a unanimous ruling that a legal standard called the baseball rule, which protects teams from being sued over fan injuries caused by events on the field, court or rink, didn't apply to a mascot tossing hot dogs to fans in the stands.

The court said the risk of being injured by a tossed hot dog is not an inherent risk of watching a baseball game.

John Coomer of Overland Park, Kan., said he was hurt at a 2009 Royals game when the team's mascot, Sluggerrr, threw a wrapped hot dog into the stands, striking Coomer in the eye. Coomer had two surgeries and was seeking compensation in excess of $20,000.

The state Supreme Court ruling said a jury that first heard the case and sided with the Royals was improperly instructed to consider whether the risk of the injury from the mascot was an inherent risk of watching the game. "No such argument applies," the ruling said.

Randy Maniloff, a Philadelphia lawyer who often writes about cases involving sporting event spectators, said the ruling could force sports teams to rethink how mascots in the stands interact with spectators.

In mascot trial, high court rules in favor of fan 06/24/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 10:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)


    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]
  2. Florida softball returns to World Series; FSU baseball in ACC title game


    GAINESVILLE — Florida defeated Alabama 2-1 Saturday to win the deciding Game 3 of their softball Super Region, putting the Gators in the Women's College World Series for the eighth time in program history.

    ’NOLE POWER: FSU’s Dylan Busby, right, is congratulated by teammate Taylor Walls after Busby’s homer against Duke.
  3. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Christian to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a perfect 30-0 …

    Matheu Nelson of Calvary Christian celebrates scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning.
  4. Mayor: Men stabbed after anti-Muslin rant died as 'heroes' (w/video)


    PORTLAND, Ore. — Police said Saturday they'll examine what appears to be the extremist ideology of an Oregon man accused of fatally stabbing two men who tried to intervene when the suspect yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim on a Portland light-rail train.

    A sign of thanks rests against a traffic light pole at a memorial outside the transit center on Saturday in Portland, Ore. [Associated Press]
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”