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KPRC 2 News

Fan sues Astros, claims Orbit's T-shirt cannon shattered her finger


HOUSTON - A woman is suing the Houston Astros after she said a T-shirt fired by team mascot Orbit from a T-shirt cannon shattered her finger last summer.

Jennifer Harughty filed the lawsuit Monday, seeking more than $1 million in damages.

The lawsuit claims Harughty attended an Astros game against the Chicago White Sox on July 8, 2018, with her husband, her children and her father.

While sitting along the third base line, the lawsuit claims Orbit fired "a bazooka-style T-shirt cannon" at close range into the crowd in the seventh inning and a T-shirt hit her left index finger and broke it.

"We filed it because we couldn't get the Astros to do anything," her attorney, Jason Gibson, said. "We gave them every opportunity. All she wanted was her medical bills paid for."

He said Harughty's medical bills were around $30,000 to $40,000.

Harughty underwent surgery four days later to repair the broken bone and attended physical therapy, according to the lawsuit.

She had a second surgery in October, but the lawsuit said her finger remains in a locked position and she has little range of motion. Her attorney said she'll never be able to use her finger again.

"It was 100 percent preventable. I do not think it was an accident," Gibson said.

The lawsuit claims the Astros were negligent for failing to use reasonable care when firing the T-shirt cannon; failing to provide warning to fans; failing to properly train employees about the T-shirt cannon; failing to supervise staff using the T-shirt cannon; and failing to follow T-shirt cannon safe use practices.

"She and her family love the Astros, but the Astros aren’t showing her much love and it’s that simple," Gibson said.

The Astros sent a statement to KPRC2 that read:

"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."

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