April 9, 2019 / 9:14 PM / 6 months ago

Fan sues Astros for $1 million over broken finger

A Texas woman has sued the Houston Astros for more than $1 million, contending her left index finger was injured permanently last summer when the team mascot shot a giveaway shirt in her direction using a “T-shirt cannon.”

FILE PHOTO: Apr 8, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Houston Astros in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Jennifer Harughty said she was sitting behind third base last July 8 when the mascot, Orbit, launched a T-shirt at close range, resulting in a broken finger.

“It was a life-changing event that I think if it happened to anybody else ... they would feel the same way,” Harughty told KTRK-TV in Houston.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed Monday, Harughty went to the emergency room after the game and was diagnosed with a severe fracture and told she would need surgery.

Four days later, she had surgery with two screws placed in her finger. Two months later, she underwent a second surgery. According to the lawsuit, Harughty has little to no use of her finger, despite physical therapy.

She is seeking more than $1 million for pain and suffering and wants a jury trial. She said the team is negligent for failing to properly train staff to use the device and for not warning fans of its dangers.

The Astros released a statement on Tuesday.

“The Astros are aware of the lawsuit with allegations regarding Orbit’s T-shirt launcher,” the statement said. “We do not agree with the allegations. 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.”

—Field Level Media

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