HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) - A woman is suing the Houston Astros for more than $1 million, alleging that she injured her finger when the team's mascot shot her at close range with a T-shirt cannon last summer.
According to the lawsuit filed on Monday, Jennifer Harughty claims she was sitting behind third base at a game on July 8, 2018, when Orbit, the Astros' mascot, fired off the T-shirt cannon into the stands, hitting her with a shirt at close range and shattering her left index finger.
"It was a life-changing event that I think if it happened to anybody else ... they would feel the same way," Harughty said. "It has nothing to do with the Astros."
After the game, Harughty went to the emergency room, where she was told she had a severe fracture and would require surgery, the suit said.
An orthopedic surgeon placed two screws in her finger on July 12, 2018. Harughty had physical therapy twice a week, but still had pain and swelling.
On Oct. 16, 2018, Harughty had a second surgery to remove the screws and restore the use of her finger.
The lawsuit says Harughty's finger still has little to no range of motion and permanent impairment.
"We thought maybe there is something the Astros can do to help. We're over $15,000 in medical bills, multiple surgeries," said Harughty.
Harughty alleges the Astros organization was negligent with the T-shirt cannon, failed to provide warnings about the risk associated with the cannon, didn't properly train staff and employees on the equipment and failed to have policies in place to ensure fans' safety.
Along with the physical pain, Harughty also wants to be compensated for medical expenses, mental anguish, lost opportunity, lost enjoyment of life and lost earnings, saying that the resulting injury will continue to affect her in the future.
The Astros released this statement regarding the lawsuit:
The Astros are 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.