A lawsuit against the Miami Marlins over a mascot stunt gone wrong is headed to mediation, a last attempt to avoid a trial scheduled for June.
According to court papers, Bradenton data processor Beth Fedornak attended a game at Marlins Park in June 2013 when she ended up in the mouth of a shark mascot.
The stunt occurred at the game against the San Diego Padres during a race between diverse sea creatures like Julio the octopus, Angel the stone crab and Bob the shark.
Overly enthused Bob finished his race and immediately zoomed in on Fedornak, 54, in the third row. He went into the stands and leaned over her to make it look like he was eating her head.
Bob’s bummer: Fedornak’s neck was twisted, and it hasn’t been the same since.
“Beth’s been on really ugly pain killers for months,” said Fort Lauderdale attorney Samuel Coffey, who represents Fedornak. “The incident caused her to have surgery, and now she’s actually doing worse than before.
“She’s processing data for a mortgage company and it came to the point she had to leave her job because she couldn’t sit at her terminal.”
One of the worst things, Coffey says, is that Fedornak’s hobby was to travel the country to go to baseball games. It was her first time at the Marlins’ ballpark.
“She hasn’t been able to travel since,” Coffey said. “So this big part of her life is now missing.”
Fedornak filed suit in June 2015, and the Marlins were not agreeing to mediation until Judge Samantha Ruiz Cohen ordered a sitdown Feb. 23.
“We don’t think that poor guy in the shark suit did it on purpose,” Coffey said. “Those suits weigh like, 40 or 50 pounds. But the fact is mascots are not supposed to touch fans. And my client’s now applying for disability because of something that happened at the ballpark.”
The Marlins’ attorney didn’t return a call for comment.
Coffey says he expects the case to be settled before the jury trial.
A couple months ago, the Miami Heat settled a suit filed against mascot Burnie by a schoolteacher who said she was manhandled during a stunt at school. The teacher said she suffered a tear in her hip when Burnie tried to help her do a split.