My husband showed me this story from ESPN about a mascot who launched hot dogs into the crowd at a 2009 KC Royals baseball game. Unfortunately, a fan suffered a retinal detachment after one of the foil-wrapped, flying weiners hit him in the eye. Allegedly, he wasn’t paying attention to his surroundings. I laughed. I’m a terrible person.
This story reminds me how disappointed I am that I don’t have a great reason for my (10) eye surgeries and suffering other than faulty retinas. No car crash. No rugby head injury. No tragi-comedy for my eyes. How fantastic would it be to tell people at cocktail parties that I’m visually impaired because I wasn’t paying attention at a baseball game and the mascot got the better of me?
I read that the guy went through an eye surgery to fix the retinal detachment, like me. Also, subsequent cataract surgery, like me. But, I endured it in both of my eyes. His eyesight is worse than it was pre-surgery, like me. He’s seeking compensation for his medical costs and suffering, unlike me. Suffering. I’m quite curious about what that involved for this fan. But, it’s really none of my business.
What I find interesting is that there’s this rule, which I didn’t realize existed, that protect sports teams from lawsuits called “the baseball rule.” It says if a foul ball or broken bat pieces or similar things fly into the stands at a game, the baseball team is not liable for injuries. Something printed on tickets reminds you that you enter the stadium at your own risk.
The Missouri Supreme Court will decide if the KC mascot/hot dog incident falls into that protection or if the fan should be compensated.
What do you think? When does personal responsibility end at sporting events and organizational liability begin?