Originally written on Bob's Blitz  |  Last updated 11/2/13
That ticket you buy for MLB games says nothing about flying hot dogs. And that's why John Coomer is now in Supreme Court after being injured by a flying hot dog.The Missouri Supreme Court is weighing whether the ''baseball rule'' — a legal standard that protects teams from being sued over fan injuries caused by events on the field, court or rink — should also apply to injuries caused by mascots or the other personnel that teams employ to engage fans and justify steep ticket prices. Because the case could set a legal precedent, it could change how teams in other cities and sports approach interacting with fans at their games.Coomer, of Overland Park, Kan., says he was injured at a September 2009 Royals game when the team's lion mascot, Sluggerrr, threw a 4-ounce, foil-wrapped wiener into the stands that struck his eye. He had to have two surgeries — one to repair a detached retina and the other to remove a cataract that developed and implant an artificial lens. Coomer's vision is worse now than before he was hurt and he has paid roughly $4,800 in medical costs, said his attorney, Robert Tormohlen....The Jackson County jurors who first heard the case two years ago sided with the Royals, saying Coomer was completely at fault for his injury because he wasn't aware of what was going on around him. An appeals court overturned that decision in January, however, ruling that while being struck by a baseball is an inherent risk fans assume at games, being hit with a hot dog isn't.The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments last month, but didn't indicate when it might issue its ruling.''If you could get a court to go the other way and say in-game entertainment is a natural part of playing baseball in the U.S. in the 21st century, that would be a tremendous precedent that could cut off future lawsuits,'' Bob Jarvis, a sports law professor at Nova Southeastern University in Florida said.**Follow us on Twitter, View via Our Mobile Site, or Return HomeFollow us on Twitter. Subscribe or Return to Bob's Blitz.
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