Fan Sues Houston Astros Over Injury Blamed on T-Shirt Cannon

Houston Astros mascot Orbit prepares to fire a shirt into the crowd in the sixth inning during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Minute Maid Park on June 19, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

A woman has sued the Houston Astros for more than $1 million, saying that a T-shirt cannon by the team’s mascot at a game last season broke her finger.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Jennifer Harughty alleges that the mascot, who is named Orbit, “shattered” her left index finger during a game last July when a T-shirt fired from a “bazooka style” cannon into the stands struck her finger.

The Astros said in a statement Tuesday the team is “aware of the lawsuit with allegations regarding Orbit’s T-shirt launcher. 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.”

The Chronicle reported court records said Harughty was seated in the middle of the first deck behind the third base line when the incident occurred. The lawsuit said the fracture required two surgeries to repair.

The newspaper reported court records said two screws were placed in her finger to repair the break and that she needed to attend physical therapy two times a week after the surgery. The suit added she “continued to suffer pain, swelling and loss of range of motion.” Her second surgery was performed in October and Harughty’s lawsuit says that her finger still isn’t right and “remains locked in an extended position with little to no range of motion.”

The lawsuit alleged the Astros were negligent in not using reasonable care in the firing of the T-shirt cannon and that they failed to provide warnings to fans about the risk the cannons pose and not properly supervising staff to ensure the safety of fans.

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