(Reuters) - The Phillie Phanatic has been entertaining crowds since he first turned out as a mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies back in 1978.
Now the large, furry, green creature may find himself headed for a courtroom after one woman didn’t find him so amusing.
Suzanne Peirce, of Abington, Pennsylvania, is suing the Major League Baseball team’s mascot for injuries she sustained when he picked up the lounge chair in which she was sitting and threw her into a swimming pool at a hotel in July 2010.
Peirce had been attending a wedding at the Golden Inn Hotel and Resort in New Jersey, and was sitting poolside enjoying the Phanatic’s comic routine when the incident occurred, according to a lawsuit she filed on Monday in Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia.
Peirce said she suffered shock, a herniated disc and other “severe and permanent injuries to her head, neck, back, body, arms and legs, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and tissues.”
Those injuries cost “large sums of money” to treat and the caused her “physical pain, mental anguish and humiliation,” the lawsuit said.
She sought unspecified damages from the Phanatic, the Phillies and the hotel for her suffering.
Exactly who was inside the green mascot suit remains a mystery with the court documents showing that Peirce is suing Tom Burgoyne and Matt Mehler, the two men who share mascot duties, as well as “any currently unknown or unnamed individual to play the role of the Phillie Phanatic.”
She accused the Phillies and the hotel of failing to properly supervise the mascot. The team even “encouraged and ratified” the Phanatic’s conduct by promoting his activities, rewarding them and failing to discourage his antics, the lawsuit said.
If the Phanatic was worried about the lawsuit he certainly didn’t show it at the Phillies game against the Dodgers last Thursday where he engaged in a hip-thrusting competition with former “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Phillies and lawyers representing Peirce did not immediately return calls on Tuesday.
Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Will Dunham
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