Keep your eye on the dog
At no point in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" are fans warned to shield their eyes from an onslaught of hot dogs hurled by a man in a lion suit. That's because the threat is not an "inherent" risk of attending a game, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday.
The case stems from a 2009 incident in which Kansas City Royals mascot Sluggerrr nailed fan John Coomer in the eye with a hot dog. (Sluggerrr and his helpers often throw hot dogs or launch them via air cannon into the crowd.) Coomer suffered a detached retina and sued the Royals, though a trial court ruled against him after the team argued that fans assume the risk of being hit with all kinds of projectiles — from balls and bats to, yes, hot dogs — when watching a game.
The Supreme Court didn't necessarily dispute that argument, though it ruled that the question was one of law, not fact, and so should never have been put to a trial jury in the first place. Hence, the high court sent the case back down for reconsideration.
Sluggerrr remains at large.