MLB

Judge: Royals not at fault for fan mishap

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A jury ruled Wednesday that the Kansas City Royals will not have to pay damages to a fan who claimed a hot dog launched into the crowd by their mascot — a lion named "Sluggerrr" — caused him a serious eye injury, Chicago Breaking Sports reported.

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The attorney for the plaintiff, John Coomer of Overland Park, Kan., said the wayward wiener detached his client's retina and required three surgeries to fix.

The Royals argued Coomer, who was seeking $25,000 in damages, should have taken more responsibility for his own protection at the game in September 2009.

Byron Shores, the man inside the Sluggerrr suit between February 1996 and October 2009, told the court Wednesday that he had no recollection of the incident and was only made aware of the accusation against him when he was dismissed by the Royals, although the club said he was dismissed for something unrelated.

Coomer's attorney said the team should have provided the mascot with more adequate hot dog-throwing training, but Shores testified he taught mascot training classes around the country for two years, including safety lessons.

Coomer, who claimed to have attended 175 Royals games, said he was "hugely disappointed" by the verdict, but respected it.

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