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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Astros not backing down despite lawsuit over T-shirt cannon

Minute Maid Park Houston

The Houston Astros are not backing down despite a lawsuit from a fan who claims she was injured by a T-shirt cannon fired by the team’s mascot last year.

The Houston Chronicle reported on Tuesday that a woman is suing the Astros for over $1 million, claiming her finger was “shattered” after being hit by a T-shirt fired from a cannon by team mascot Orbit. The injury took place during a July 2018 game and left the woman’s left index finger broken. The woman claims she has undergone two surgeries on her finger and that she still suffers pain and a loss of range of motion. She says she also underwent physical therapy.

The woman’s lawsuit accuses the Astros of being negligent in using reasonable care while firing the cannon and not giving proper warning to fans about the risks the cannons pose.

The Astros responded in a statement.

“We do not agree with the allegations,” the team said. “The Astros will continue to use fan popular T-shirt launchers during games. As this is an ongoing legal matter, we will have no further comment on this matter.”

T-shirts are shot into the stands at many sporting events as fun giveaways for the attendees. Just like anytime someone tries to catch an item, there is some inherent risk with trying to catch a shirt fired into the stands. The distance at which the cannon was fired at the fan, whose tickets were for halfway up the first deck behind third base, is critical. If the cannon was fired at the woman from a very close, unreasonable, and unsafe distance, the Astros might have some culpability. If not, it would be difficult to view this as any more than an unfortunate accident.

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