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Fan sues Mets after t-shirt cannon nearly blinded him

A New York Mets fan who suffered a serious eye injury after being struck in the face by a t-shirt cannon blast at Citi Field earlier this season is suing the team for damages. The lawsuit also asks for a ruling that would bar the team from continuing the use of the t-shirt cannon at ballgames.

Alex Swanson, a 54-year-old Long Island native, indicates in a lawsuit filed in Queens County Supreme Court late last week that he was left “severely injured” by the incident, which occurred during a June 5, 2019 home game against the San Francisco Giants.

Swanson claims to have temporarily lost consciousness after being struck in the face by a shirt that was shot out of the cannon from only 20 feet away. He was later diagnosed with a detached retina, according to the lawsuit, and nearly lost sight in that eye.

The lawsuit alleges “negligence, recklessness and carelessness” by the ballpark caused Swanson’s injuries.

“This is a very unfortunate situation that could’ve and should’ve been avoided if the Mets took the appropriate measures,” said Swanson’s attorney, Dustin Levine, in a statement, per ABC7 Eyewitness News in New York. “My client was enjoying what he thought was a perfect day with his three sons and ended up suffering a severe injury that will likely affect the rest of his life.”

Swanson was attended to by security and medical personnel immediately after the incident. After being taken to a ballpark medical station, Swanson declined a trip to the hospital, as he could still see out of the eye at that time despite some swelling.

The Mets later offered him free tickets in an effort to resolve the situation, but Swanson declined.

“I still have floaters — little black specks — over my cornea,” Swanson said. “The doctor says the retina could detach at any moment. It’s like someone is shining a flashlight in the corner of my eye.”