An Illinois dentist has sued the Chicago Bulls after allegedly being injured by the team’s mascot, Benny the Bull, in what is a rare example of a lawsuit predicated on a negligent high-five.
Don Kalant alleges he was watching a game on February 12 when he raised his arm to get a high-five from Bull. Kalant thus admits he initiated the contact, but alleges that the high-five he solicited was delivered negligently. According to the lawsuit, rather than merely high-fiving, Bull grabbed Kalant’s arm and fell forward, hyperextending Kalant’s arm and rupturing his bicep. Kalant’s attorney declared that this was not an accident, but rather "part of the shtick."
"Benny’s flying down the aisle, giving everybody high-fives," Kalant’s
attorney, Shawn Kasserman, said Monday in a telephone interview. "When
he gets to Dr. Kalant, he either inadvertently trips or, as part of the
shtick, trips. . . . He grabbed Kalant’s arm and fell forward."
Kalant later had surgery and allegedly will miss as much as four months of work. (He was, however, was able to make it through the rest of the Bulls game.) He is suing the team on the theory that it is vicariously liable for its mascot’s behavior.
Benny was last in trouble (to my knowledge) in July of 2006, when he was arrested after allegedly punching an off-duty police officer who was trying to get him to stop riding his tiny motorcycle through a festival crowd.
Link: Chicago Tribune