Mets fan sues team after being hit in the face, nearly blinded by T-shirt cannon

Being a Mets fan is a pretty painful existence. It's been particularly brutal of late for one longtime Mets fan that is suing the club over an injured sustained at Citi Field. Alex Swanson, 54, is a Long Island native who allegedly had a violent run-in with a T-shirt cannon at a Mets game this June. Now, he wants the team to answer for his anguish. 

Swanson attended the Mets' June 5 contest against the Giants and, during the game, one of the team employees accidentally shot him in the face with a t-shirt launcher, causing serious damage, according to the New York Daily News. Swanson says the cannon malfunctioned and, as the worker tried to fix the issue, a tightly wrapped shirt was blasted straight into his eye from about 20 feet away.

The force of the blow was apparently harsh enough to knock Swanson off his feet, causing him to tumble backward and hit his head. He says he was knocked unconscious. 

Security and medical personnel came to Swanson's aid and brought him to a nearby medical station, but he declined to be transported to the hospital because he was conscious and could see out of his eye, despite some obvious swelling. Plus, the Mets were working on a 6-0 shutout at the time. 

While the general idea of someone being knocked out by a T-shirt cannon might seem pretty humorous, this incident and the damage alleged in the lawsuit don't really appear to be a laughing matter. 

After the game, Swanson's eye issues apparently persisted and he elected to go to the hospital. A CAT scan was performed the next day and, according to Swanson's lawyer, the results found that the fan suffered a concussion and significant eye trauma. His retina was allegedly almost completely severed and left hanging by a thread, which could leave him with permanent eye issues.

"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."

Swanson says the Mets reached out to him after the incident and offered him free tickets as a way to apologize for his troubles. He declined and instead elected to pursue legal action, accusing the ballpark of "negligence, recklessness and carelessness."  He says the mishap could have killed him and, while he doesn't harbor resentment towards the club, he hopes that the team elects to stop using the T-shirt cannon moving forward, especially for the sake of children attending games.

The team hasn't commented publicly on the lawsuit. 

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories