A woman is suing the Houston Astros for more than $1 million, claiming her finger was broken when she was hit by a shirt from the T-shirt cannon fired at close range by the team's mascot, Orbit, last season.
Jennifer Harughty says in the suit that her left index finger was shattered on July 8, 2018, when she was hit by a shirt from the cannon. Harughty, who was sitting in the middle of the first deck behind the third base line, says she has had two surgeries on the finger but still has impaired range of movement.
Harughty filed a lawsuit against the Astros on Monday, alleging the organization was negligent, failed to warn fans about the risk associated with the cannon, didn't properly train staff on the equipment and failed to enact policies to ensure fans' safety.
"The Astros are aware of the lawsuit with allegations regarding Orbit's t-shirt launcher," the team said in a statement. "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."
Harughty said in the suit that she has had more than $15,000 in medical bills and wants to be compensated for mental anguish, lost opportunity, lost enjoyment of life and lost earnings.
An attorney for Harughty told the Houston Chronicle that the suit was filed after the Astros refused to pay the woman's medical bills.
Suits by injured fans are difficult to win because Major League Baseball tickets include a disclaimer saying that the bearer of the ticket assumes all risk and dangers incidental to the game and releases the team and Major League Baseball from liability.