Mustard, Ketchup, and Relish may be a popular feature at Kansas City Royals games, but another promotion may have the team in a pickle. A fan who was hit in the eye back in 2009 by a flying hot dog is involved in a lawsuit that has moved to Missouri’s highest court. (Our own Stephen Douglas was on the case back in 2011 at the trial court level).
At issue is whether the team can be held liable for Slugger’s launching of the hot dog, as the “baseball rule” prevents teams from liability for on the field events like a foul ball that injures a fan. The jurors thought the plaintiff should have been paying attention; the appellate court for the Western District distinguished between having to watch for a foul ball, and a flying piece of sausage in tin foil between innings.
The Missouri Supreme Court has already heard arguments on the case. We now wait to hear whether ridiculous mascots throwing delicious treats are as integral to the game as a million pitching changes and long beards. Hopefully, character of the mascot doesn’t become an issue-we wouldn’t want any digging into Sluggerrr’s past to see if he is associated with Truman the Tiger.
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