With the title as the major leagues most sued mascot, the Philly Phanatic is living up to his reputation. Yet another, possibly the fifth ever, lawsuit has come into the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia. This time, insinuating injuries to at least 12 body parts.
Suzanne Pierce, of Abington, PA, is suing the Phanatic for unspecified damages after it, she, he…whatever, allegedly picked her up in a lounge chair and threw her into a pool at a hotel in July 2010. What resulted from that innocent prank is shock, a herniated disc and several other “severe and permanent injuries to her head, neck, back, body, arms and legs, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and tissues,” Pierce states in her claim.
And, since the Phatatic was in full gear when he tossed her in the pool, she’s not really 100 percent sure which of the two actors — Tom Burgoyne or Matt Mehler – who play him are the culprit. So, she’s sued them both. And, just to be certain they didn’t just have a friend fill in that day, she’s also suing “any currently unknown or unnamed individual to play the role of the Phillie Phanatic.”
She must have learned from the at least four other lawsuits which name the mascot as a perpetrator. CBS News reports that this may be “at least the phourth time the Phanatic has been sued phor antics some phind unphunny.”
In Burgoyne and Mehler’s defense, that costume is pretty limiting. It’s not surprising that sitting on someone’s knees would injur them like another lawsuit has claimed. Or that awkwardly throwing someone in a pool wouldn’t result in some sort of injury. Bob Jarvis, the sports-law professor who wrote the 2002 law review article, which named Phanatic as the most sued mascot in the majors, says, “it’s very ungainly, not like some mascots where the person in the suit has a lot of control.”
It’s not immediately clear what the result of these prior allegations were or how much money the dare-devil, envelope-pushing, prank-playing mascot has cost the team.
I just know I won’t be caught dead around him anytime soon.