The Philly Phanatic, mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team, is one of the most loved and absurd among sports mascots. It also holds the dubious honor of being the most sued mascot. Most recently, he is being sued for an incident that occurred at the Golden Inn Hotel and Resort in New Jersey in 2010. The victim of this case is Suzanne Peirce, who was at the hotel to attend a wedding. While sitting around the pool and enjoying the comic routine of the big furry green weirdo, the Phanatic allegedly approached Ms. Peirce, picked up the lounge chair she was sitting in, and threw her and the chair into the pool. Unfortunately for Ms. Peirce, the Phanatic threw her into the shallow end of the pool, where she hit the bottom and suffered “severe and permanent injuries to her head, neck, back, arms and legs, bones, muscles, tendons, … and other injuries, the full extent of which is not yet known.” Ms. Peirce now must walk with a cane. Along with the Phanatic, Ms. Peirce also sued the owners of the hotel, and the Phillies baseball team. Both Tom Burgoyne and Matt Mehler were named in the suit, as both share the duty and burden of the Phanatic cowl.
A duckboat is a particular kind of bus that can travel by both land and sea. Typically seen in cities like Philadelphia and Boston, which have prominent and accessible rivers, the boat/bus hybrid is particularly useful for tour companies, the novelty of amphibious sightseeing being extremely attractive to tourists. Rarely do these duckboats cause a problem. Their pre-planned and short water routes don’t get in the way of bigger ships, and on land they operate just like normal buses. Back in July 2010, however, bad luck and negligence conspired conspired to end this reputation of relative safety. A duckboat stalled in the water. A tugboat captain pushing a barge turned down his emergency radio and looked away to answer a phone call. The two vessels — one helpless, one aimless — collided. The duck boat tumbled underneath the barge, bringing two Hungarian tourists to a watery grave. Yesterday, after two years of negotiations and court maneuvering, lawyers associated with the case announced that they had reached a settlement with the tug- and duckboat companies.
A Pittsburgh mother who was banned from her daughter’s high school basketball games has won a $63,500 settlement with her school district in a discrimination dispute. Diane Wickstrom claimed that she was banned from the school’s basketball games and practices for no just cause after she sent an email concerning her daughter’s team. After the email, the Peters Township Athletic Association imposed a new rule closing practices to the public, which Wickstrom claimed was enforced exclusively on her. Lawyers for the basketball mom argued that the banning was an infringement on her First Amendment rights, with the ban occurring under “false premises”. As part of the settlement, the township’s insurer will pay Wickstrom $55,000 and the school district $8,500, and Wickstrom, of course, has been readmitted to her daughter’s basketball games.
Read more at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.