Arguably one of the most entertaining mascots in all of sports, Benny the Bull is easily the main off-the-court attraction for anyone that has attended the United Center for a game. Recent reports indicate that the Bulls are being sued by a courtside food-and-drink server who alleges Benny tore her rotator cuff after using his fuzzy red hand to apply too much weight to her shoulder.
The incident took place during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, the game that ended with a dramatic three by Derrick Rose to beat the Cavaliers at home.
The report indicates that Benny injured his ankle after “running out of control on the court.” While limping off the court the mascot allegedly put his hand on Rosa Garcia’s shoulder causing her to tear her rotator cuff.
“He used her as a weight-bearing type (object),” her attorney Lucy Vazquez told the Tribune.
The west-suburban woman, who still works for food vendor Levy Restaurant Group, is seeking more than $50,000 in damages. She is suing both Barry Anderson, the man who played Benny in 2015 and the Bulls, who are legally responsible for his actions during a game, the lawsuit alleges.
There was a similar case with Anderson (Benny) settled in 2010 when he apparently high-fived an oral surgeon a little too hard and tore his biceps muscle. That incident originally occurred in 2008.
In 2006, Anderson was charged with misdemeanor battery after punching an off-duty Cook County sheriff’s deputy who tried to prevent him from riding his mini motorcycle through the Taste of Chicago. Yes, that’s real.
Anderson left the team in April 2016.
“After 12 incredible years, it’s come time for me to explore this world, this life, without my fuzzy red friend. In what’s been an impossibly difficult choice to make, I’ve decided that June 30th will be my final day at the Chicago Bulls, where my heart will forever live.”
Considering Garcia is also suing the Bulls organization in the new lawsuit, look for this one to be settled like the surgeon back in 2010.
Anderson won the NBA’s Mascot of the Year award in 2015, the same year this injury supposedly happened.