Despite lost lawsuit, man hopes Kauffman Stadium hot dog incident highlights fan safety issues

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Royals fan who lost his second lawsuit against the organization says his efforts were not in vain. John Coomer sued the Royals after he was injured at a game in 2009 when mascot "Sluggerr" threw a hot dog during a promotional event, and hit him.

Although a jury found the Royals were not at fault, Coomer hopes it sends a bigger message about fan safety in the stadium.

Coomer originally wanted $300,000 for an eye injury he says he will have to deal with for the rest of his life. In the end, he says he would have settled for $16,000 he has paid out in medical expenses, but a Jackson County jury sent the message that sometimes, no one is to blame.

He told FOX 4 the jury’s decision disappointed him.

"I don't have a detached retina and cataract replacement and glaucoma as a result of zero fault either, but I’ll deal with that going forward,” Coomer said.

He said he was hit in the eye by a foil wrapped hot dog thrown by Byron Shores, who played Sluggerrr at the time.

“He was trying to get the fans involved and do what they needed to have happen, and it was just an accident, but it was a big accident," Coomer said.

The incident happened between innings during a Royals hot dog launch promotion where Sluggerrr was throwing hot dogs into the stands, catching Coomer off guard.

"We've got a beautiful new stadium with a lot of things to look at, we were looking at the scoreboard and the ribbon boards, I understand that, I understand what happens in a game during the course of action with bats and balls. This had nothing to do with that,” he said.

Although Coomer has lost two jury trials, the Royals may have lost a fan.

"I haven't been to a Royals game in five years, I don't know if I will be back or not, I don't know,” Coomer said.

FOX 4 reached out to Shores for comment, but have not yet gotten a response. Because it's a litigation issue, the Royals organization told FOX 4 it has, "no comment other than letting the verdict speak for itself."

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