On June 17, 2015 a Jackson County, Missouri jury handed down a verdict exonerating both the Kansas City Royals, for alleged actions of their mascot Sluggerrr, and also baseball fan John Coomer of any liability for injuries sustained by Coomer in a September 2009 incident at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. The jury found that both parties had 0% fault for the incident.
Coomer alleged he suffered a detached retina when Sluggerrr allegedly tossed a foil-wrapped hot dog into the stands, striking Coomer in the eye. Coomer initially saw Sluggerrr throwing hot dogs, but briefly turned away before being struck in the face by a flying frankfurter, and could not definitively identify the source of the flying sausage.
The matter was first tried in 2010 and resulted in a defense verdict in which the jury found Coomer to be 100% at fault. On appeal, the matter eventually made its way to the Missouri Supreme Court where Coomer was granted a new trial. The Court ruled that being hit in the eye with a foil-wrapped hot dog was not the kind of “inherent risk” to attending a major-league baseball game that would bring the incident under the coverage of the so-called “baseball rule.” In instances where fans are injured at the ballpark by hazards outside the scope of the game, like a flying foil-wrapped hot dog, whether the case may proceed to trial will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Unfortunately, Mr. Coomer apparently continues to experience problems. However, it does not appear that he intends to pursue a second appeal.