Published February 1, 2013

If you go to a baseball game, you assume the risk of getting struck by a baseball – but you don’t assume the risk of getting hit with a hot dog.

That’s what a court ruled recently in a case against the Kansas City Royals for negligence.

The plaintiff was struck in the eye with a hot dog when the Royals’ mascot, Sluggerrr [not a typo], did a “Hotdog Launch” during the fourth inning of a game. The Royals argued the launch “is an activity so intimately intertwined with Royals baseball that one who attends a Royals game assumes the risk.”

The court disagreed. “”[E]veryone who participates in or attends a baseball game assumes the risk of being hit by a ball,” because “the risk of being hit by a baseball is a risk inherent to the game,” the court held. However, the risk of being hit in the face by a hot dog is not a well-known incidental risk of attending a baseball game.

Source: “Bad News for Dog-Flinging Mascots,” lowering the bar, January 16, 2013