The Phillie Phanatic swears to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So help him God, the furry green creature is going to have to after being sued.
The Philadelphia Phillies' massive mascot was sued by Grace Crass, a 75-year-old woman, for allegedly injuring her after it climbed into the stands at a 2008 Reading Phillies game. Crass claims that the Phanatic climbed into the stands and onto her legs, immediately flaring up her asymptomatic arthritis.
"Not only was the pain immediate, she started yelling at him," said John Speicher, the victim's attorney.
Since the incident, Crass has undergone almost two full years of medical treatment and two knee replacements. Crass is seeking $50,000 in damages from Tom Burgoyne, who plays the Phillie Phanatic, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Reading Phillies.
This offense is just another on a list for the Phanatic, the most sued mascot in major league sports. It was taken to court twice before in the last decade, but was also sued three times before that, including for an incident in which the Phanatic hugged a fan too hard.
Even Speicher recognizes that convincing a jury that the ungainly but lovable mascot is at fault will be difficult.
"This is like suing Santa Claus," the attorney said.