Hot Dog! Eye Injury Lawsuit Against Kansas City Royals Revived

By Andrew Lu on January 31, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Kansas City Royals fan's lawsuit over a hot dog in the eye will have another day in court.

John Coomer says that he was hit in the eye by a flying hot dog during a 2009 Royals game. He claims to have suffered a detached retina and other injuries when a foil-wrapped hot dog launched by the Royals mascot Sluggerrr smacked him in the face, reports The Kansas City Star.

At his original trial in 2011, Coomer lost. Jurors found that getting struck in the face by flying hot dogs was an inherent risk of attending a professional baseball game.

So apparently when your team hasn't won in decades, you should expect food projectiles in the stands?

Well, a Missouri Court of Appeals didn't agree, and now Coomer will get another opportunity to try his case.

The court stated the seemingly obvious: "The risk of being hit in the face by a hot dog is not a well-known incidental risk of attending a baseball game."

Thus, the trial judge made a mistake in telling jurors that Coomer's assumption of the risk of a wiener in the eye would mean the Royals couldn't be held liable, reports the Star.

If you've taken a close look at a baseball ticket, you'll see a waiver of liability typically printed on the back. This usually covers things that can happen during the normal course of a game, such as getting hit by a ball or a flying bat.

But in this case, the Royals mascot was allegedly goofing off between innings. Coomer claims that Sluggerrr tried a behind-the-back, air cannon-propelled hot dog toss into the stands, and when Coomer looked away for a split-second, a foil-wrapped hot dog hit him in the face.

If the case is indeed reheard, another jury may have to decide comparative negligence, or the degree that Coomer is to blame for his own injuries. After all, if a mascot is shooting hot dogs into the stands via cannon, why would you look away?

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