Friday, March 11, 2011

Team mascot (and team) are not liable for hitting fan with hot dog

Just about a year ago I reported on a lawsuit that argued that a hot dog thrown by the Kansas City Royal's mascot struck the plaintiff and detached his retina. The defendants argued the defense of assumption of the risk. (Go here for my original post and here and here for comments on the claim). As you probably know, it is often stated that spectators at a baseball game assume the risk of getting hit by foul balls. (Technically speaking, this is not necessarily correct since the issue is those cases is not really a question of assumption of the risk, but that is another story).

If we assume this is the starting point of the discusion, though, the issue in the case, at least in part, was whether the fans also assume the risk of getting hit by other flying objects not related (or necessary) to the game itself, like between innings entertainment.

 Now comes news that a jury reached a verdict on the case. After deliberating for about an hour, the jury found in favor of the team. For more on the case go here and here.

 Check out this video of the team mascot launching hot dogs (courtesy of Prof. Jonathan Turley). The woman taking the video yells at the mascot for a hot dog when the mascot is throwing them by hand, but listen carefully how, after watching the laucher send a hot dog off in the air, she sounds a little nervous about the possibility of the mascot sending one her way. She says "no, no, no. "We just want you to "toss" us a hot dog," and then seems to be telling her friend that "we are too close"...


No comments: